The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recall on one form of the drug Zantac (ranitidine) after it was found to contain the carcinogen NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine). If you have taken this form of Zantac, here’s what you need to know about this Zantac recall and its cancer-causing ingredient. You’ll find out what is Zantac, the use cases, as well as the cancers ranitidine are linked to. Remember, if you are taking any Zantac or ranitidine drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it requested manufacturers to withdraw them on April 1, 2020. If you’re still taking any form of Zantac or ranitidine products, stop taking the medication and consult with a medical professional. If you want more information regarding the Zantac (ranitidine) lawsuit, you can head here.
What Is Zantac?
Zantac (ranitidine) is used for treating specific stomach and throat illnesses, such as symptoms of esophagitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including heartburn. It is also commonly prescribed in combination with antibiotics for people with H. pylori infections. In layman’s terms, ranitidine and Zantac work by decreasing acid production in your stomach.
How Does Zantac Work?
Zantac is used for treating stomach ulcers. Ulcers are commonly caused by infections with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. The active ingredient in Zantac, ranitidine, prevents inflammation in your stomach that can lead to pain or discomfort. Ranitidine also slows down gastric emptying so that food stays in your stomach longer and allows more time for it to be digested, which can help prevent reflux symptoms.
Another common use of Zantac is for people who have experienced irritation of their esophagus or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The Zantac relieves heartburn symptoms associated with GERD when combined with antacid medication.
Although there were some benefits to Zantac and ranitidine, there is a chemical found in these drugs that have been linked to
Why Was Zantac Recalled?
According to Zantac’s manufacturer, recall notices were issued because too much of an ingredient called NDMA can form in Zantac that contains ranitidine hydrochloride. NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine) is a cancer-causing substance and can be toxic if swallowed or inhaled. Side effects of Zantac include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and gas; long-term side effects may include high blood pressure and kidney problems.
The FDA requested U.S. manufacturers to remove all ranitidine products from the market. Although the FDA did not observe extremely elevated levels of of NDMA in the samples they tested, the levels can rise over time — potentially exposing users to a cancer-causing carinogen (NDMA).
For example, if ranitidine is stored in high temperatures, including those at which the product might be exposed to when the drugs run through the supply chain, there could be higher levels of NDMA. Additionally, the longer the time since the manufactured date, the higher the level of the probable human carcinogen (NDMA).
If you still have Zantac, the FDA provided a quick video on how to safely dispose of medications.
What Are The Side Effects Of Zantac (Ranitidine)?
Until recently, the side effects were commonly known to be non-cancer causing. Ranitidine is a stomach acid reducer used in prescription and over-the-counter medications, including Zantac. There are several common side effects associated with Ranitidine, including nausea, diarrhea, headache and dizziness. More serious side effects include itchiness or rash. Side effects usually go away within a few days or weeks after you stop taking Ranitidine.
Because of its potential for causing birth defects in developing fetuses, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not take Ranitidine at all. Women should also avoid using it while breastfeeding their children because it could pass through breast milk and affect an infant’s health. Women shouldn’t use certain forms of birth control pills along with Ranitidine because they could make birth control pills less effective in preventing pregnancy.
Take note, the FDA requested manufacturers to recall all ranitidine drugs, Zantac, from the market on April 1, 2020.
How Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
Typically, low levels of NDMA are not expected to lead to a rise in cancer risk. However, continuous exposure to higher levels could significantly increase the risk of cancer in humans.
Unfortunately, there is a connection between cancer and Zantac. The drug is produced with an organic chemical called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which some researchers have linked to a higher risk of stomach cancer.
What Cancer Does Zantac Cause
Now, although cancers weren’t listed as a side effect of taking Zantac, there have been studies that show the association between gastrointestinal cancers and ranitidine.
Additionally, NDMA may be linked to other cancers, such as colon, prostate, and bladder. Since research in this area is relatively new, scientists do not have enough evidence or information to prove Zantac (ranitidine) causes cancer. However, since there’s NDMA, a probably cancer-causing substance, it’s not safe to take, whatsoever.
It may be possible that someone who has been taking Zantac (ranitidine) for a long time might be at an increased risk of developing esophageal or stomach cancer. However, further research needs to be done on Zantac’s effect on these types of cancers before making any final conclusions about its link with them.
Some researchers have also suggested that long-term use of Zantac can increase your chances of developing lactic acidosis, which is a rare disorder in which blood levels of lactic acid become too high.
Final Thoughts On The Zantac (ranitidine) Recall
The FDA issued a recall for two batches of Zantac made with ranitidine after researchers discovered that they contained an impurity. The chemical compound, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), is known to cause cancer in animals and humans. It’s unclear how NDMA got into Zantac but researchers suspect that it resulted from interactions between dimethylhydrazine (another ingredient) and ammonium hydroxide, according to FiercePharma.
Now, if you have been diagnosed with cancer and have taken Zantac (ranitidine) in the past, it’s important to let your medical professional know about your history. This would help them better develop a treatment plan.
As always, it’s important to keep all of your medical records and doctor’s notes. If you have all of these in handy, you might be qualified to file a Zantac lawsuit. Consequently, you may be eligible for compensation from some of the drugmakers.