The Zantac drug is one of the hottest topics among the lawyers and consumers lately. This is because there are many consumers who claim that Zantac caused various cancers, resulting in lawsuits against its manufacturers. Zantac (with generic name ranitidine) used to be a popular drug that was helpful in treating heartburn and GERD. Nowadays, however, Zantac and its generic counterpart ranitidine are no longer being actively sold in pharmacies in the US.
If you used to take prescription drug Zantac or its generic form ranitidine, then you need to know certain facts about this drug. This way, if you do develop one or more of the different types of cancers attributed to Zantac or ranitidine consumption, you will be able to identify the symptoms in others as well.
Zantac and its counterpart ranitidine were pulled out of the market because they contained (NDMA) which is believed to be a carcinogenic substance.
1. Why Are Zantac and Ranitidine Banned in the US?
The reason the prescription drug Zantac and its counterpart ranitidine were pulled out of the market completely was because these products contained N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which is believed to be a carcinogenic substance. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that there are unacceptable levels of this substance in the Zantac product as well as in ranitidine.
The FDA explained that NDMA might be present in other edible items such as food and water that are regularly consumed but only at levels that are considered safe. The quality of Zantac and ranitidine became suspect because of the high levels of NDMA in those products. Consequently, major pharmacies in the US opted to remove Zantac and ranitidine products (both the tablets and the liquid form) from their shelves to protect the consumers.
2. Why are Zantac and Ranitidine Singled Out for Presence of Carcinogen?
The excessive levels of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine were first discovered by an online pharmacy named Valisure. Valisure tests all products that they are selling before putting them on sale for the public. To the surprise of Valisure techies, ranitidine samples from different manufacturers showed excessively high levels of NDMA upon testing.
Valisure CEO David Light surmised that maybe the ranitidine molecule may be inherently unstable so NDMA is produced during its manufacture. David Light also said that their testing was simply to complement other studies which were similar to the Valisure discovery. Light stressed that Valisure tests tried to simulate the conditions within the human body when a patient swallows ranitidine. However, they were not only surprised but also alarmed by their findings. The FDA’s tests follow only the lab conditions so their findings are not as high as that of Valisure.
3. What Kinds of Cancers Can Result From Zantac and Ranitidine Use?
There can be various kinds of cancer from Zantac consumption, such as:
- Stomach cancer
- Gastric or colorectal cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney tumors
- Lung tumors
- Liver tumors
In addition, a consumer who keeps taking Zantac or ranitidine may also develop liver fibrosis and scarring. The FDA informed that the NDMA seems to increase in the product as time passes and also when the product is stored at higher-than-room-temperature conditions. This is why the FDA is strictly monitoring the recall of Zantac and ranitidine products from the US market. If you had been on Zantac or ranitidine for a long time (prior to the announcement of the FDA) you may want to consult a personal injury lawyer on the grounds that you developed cancer because of these products.
4. Symptoms to Watch Out For
If you have some of the following symptoms, you should get examined by your doctor to rule out cancer:
- Hoarseness of voice
- Cough that won’t go away
- Changes in moles or warts
- Having problems swallowing
- Lumps or discharges from testicles or breasts
- Unusually low blood count
- Unusual discharge or bleeding
- Bloody stool
- Persistently unhealed sores
- Unusual presence of blood in saliva
- Unusual bladder or bowel habits
You should inform the doctor about your medical history, especially if you have been using Zantac or ranitidine for a long time. If the end-diagnosis is cancer, you can probably live longer by adjusting your diet and switching to a healthier lifestyle. Your doctor is the best medical expert to consult if you have been diagnosed with cancer.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that there are unacceptable levels of this substance in the Zantac product as well as in ranitidine.
The fallout from this controversy is still being felt by both manufacturers and consumers, especially those who had been using Zantac for years for heartburn problems. If cancer is indeed the end result of it, it is not surprising to know that consumers may be filing lawsuits against the Zantac and ranitidine manufacturers. If you still need medication for your heartburn and digestive issues, ask your doctor to prescribe other brands of heartburn medication so that you can get cured.
Have you or a loved one taken Zantac?
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