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If you still have Zantac, stop using it immediately

Do you get heartburn? Do you ever take Zantac to treat it or in an effort to prevent it? Odds are that you've had it before, as it was long one of the most popular medications of its kind.

If you still have it in your house, though, you need to get rid of it right away. Do not take it any longer. The FDA has determined that ranitidine products -- Zantac is the most popular brand name, but there are others -- may cause cancer. The drug has been roundly recalled and pulled from shelves.

How could this happen after it was in use for so long? The problem is that the N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels may have appeared safe at first, but this probable human carcinogen can increase in amount over time, as the drug is stored. This is true even with proper storage, but especially true if that storage ever happened in an area with high temperatures.

This does not just refer to consumer storage. You may not have had yours for long or you may have stored it properly, but how was it stored in the warehouse or on shelves before you bought it? How much time did it spend in a truck? How may these conditions have influenced the NDMA levels? If they are too high, you may be accidentally increasing your own risk of cancer if you keep using it.

Naturally, this news comes too late for many people who have used it for decades. If you have, be sure you know what legal options you have.

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