Zantac Uses, Side Effects And A Warning: The Only Guide You’ll Need
If you have ever had stomach issues, chances are you’re familiar with Zantac.
Zantac is one of the brand names used to refer to the drug Ranitidine. The popular over the counter medication (OTC) was released in 1983 to treat stomach conditions such as heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux and stomach ulcers and was intended for long term use. The drug was removed from the market in 2020 when it was found that some of its compounds broke down into NDMA, a carcinogen.
Because the risk of exposure to NDMA while using Zantac was only recently discovered, it is difficult to conclusively say that the drug causes cancer. But, as we learn from drugguardians.com hundreds of suits have been filed and some studies have suggested a probable link between Zantac and certain kinds of cancer. The list of cancers Zantac has been linked to includes:
Higher doses and long term usage also appear to increase the likelihood that one may develop cancer.
There isn’t more certainty about the link because NDMA is naturally occuring. The carcinogen can occur from other processes within the body. It can also be found in other drugs usually taken in tandem with heartburn medications.
If you were a Zantac user, please feel free to refer to this list we have compiled. It will educate you on all the applications of ranitidine so you can determine your exposure risk. You can compare symptoms with our list of side effects. Lastly, we will issue a few warnings to ensure your safety.
Zantac works because ranitidine is what is known as an H2 blocker. These drugs reduce the stomach lining’s ability to produce acid thereby allowing heartburn and acid reflux sufferers relief.
Beyond those conditions, Zantac has been used in the treatment of:
– Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GORD. This is a form of long term heartburn or acid reflux that affects the upper parts of the digestive system.
– Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. This is a rare tumour found in disease of the pancreas.
– It is also used in combination with other drugs to treat a variety of stomach ailments
Zantac: Side Effects
Most users reported no ill effects from short term use of Zantac. Some may have had trouble adjusting to the drug at the start of their treatment and may have experienced the following:
– Stomach discomfort
– Nausea and/or vomiting
The symptoms are reported to have disappeared within a few days. More severe side effects such as depression, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat and extreme tiredness have also been experienced.
Zantac: A warning
Zantac was removed from shelves in the US and the UK pending further investigation into the NDMA risk in April 2020. If you live in a country where Zantac is still sold, you may want to consider switching to alternative H2 blockers that do not contain NDMA. Examples of these are omeprazole (Prilosec), famotidine (Pepcid) and cimetidine (Tagamet).
There may also be a long period between when someone stops using Zantac and the presentation of cancer symptoms.
Additionally, while Zantac is the main focus of litigation, versions of its generic form, ranitidine, were also found to have NDMA present. If you used a generic and now have cancer, you may be able to claim compensation from its producer. Your medical professional will help you determine if you took one that contained the carcinogen.
What Can You Do?
Legal action against Zantac is only in the beginning stages. Unlike more established drug company negligence cases, the path forward is not established. This is why you need legal professionals who can navigate this difficult road with you. Several class-action lawsuits have already been filed and maybe you need to ask yourself some difficult questions. The first is, are you ready for the arduous journey ahead if you decide to file suit against the makers of Zantac?
If you or a loved one have developed one of the listed cancers after using the drug, the legal process will involve establishing a link between your disease and Zantac usage, providing evidence of the same and then finally getting your case heard before a court. A free consultation will help determine the issues surrounding your case and how your suit should be approached.