Zantac (ranitidine) is a medication used to treat frequent heartburn. Zantac was first introduced in 1981 and became the world’s biggest-selling prescription drug by 1987. Zantac was commonly used to treat acid reflux, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome by decreasing stomach acid production.
Zantac is produced by GlaxoSmithKline. In 2018, Zantac was the 41st most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with other 18 million prescriptions. In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating levels of the carcinogen NDMA in ranitidine. As a result, the FDA has requested that manufacturers pull all prescription and over-the-count ranitidine drugs from the market.
Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
Zantac is a type of drug known as an H2 blocker that decreases stomach acids by blocking histamine receptors in the stomach. Research has confirmed that certain ranitidine products, including Zantac, are contaminated with NDMA. NDMA has been identified by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a probable human carcinogen. NDMA is believed to cause cancer after long-term exposure and increases the risk of liver, kidney, and lung tumors. In addition to causing cancer, NDMA can cause liver damage.
Which Cancers Are Linked to Zantac?
Below are the cancers linked to Zantac and ranitidine:
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer in non-smokers
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
Additional Side Effects Linked to Zantac
Zantac and ranitidine have also been reported to cause:
- Arrhythmia or tachycardia
- Cholestatic hepatitis, liver failure, and jaundice
- Skin rashes like erythema multiforme
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Nervous system disorders
- Low platelet levels in the blood
Common Ranitidine Brands
Ranitidine is most commonly known as Zantac, but there are a few additional brands they may be known as:
- Zantac 150 Tablets
- 150 Maximum Strength
- 150 Maximum Strength Cool Mint
- 75 Tablets
- Wal-Zan 150
- Wal-Zan 75
- Heartburn Relief (ranitidine)
- Acid Reducer (ranitidine)
- Acid Control (ranitidine)
Zantac Pulled from US Market
In March 2020 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement that contaminants in ranitidine increase over time and when stored at higher-than-normal temperatures, pose a risk to public health. As a result of ongoing testing by the FDA on the NDMA levels in ranitidine, manufacturers were requested to pull all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine from the market immediately.
Federal regulators also recommended that any patients with over-the-counter versions stop taking the drug, and patients with prescriptions consult their doctors about switching. The FDA says that, to date, they have not found NDMA in the active ingredients in similar medications like Prevacid and Prilosec.
If you are taking prescription ranitidine, check with your doctor before discontinuing the medication. There may be reasons why your doctor wants you on a specific medication.
Contact a Zantac Attorney to learn More
Our Zantac lawyers can work with you to file a claim if you or a loved one has taken Zantac and been diagnosed with cancer. Contact us today for your free case review.