What is Zantac?

Zantac is the brand name of a drug called ranitidine, and is sold by Sanofi, Inc. The medication reduces the stomach’s acid production and is commonly prescribed to treat peptic ulcers, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, erosive esophagitis, and acid (gastroesophageal) reflux disease.

Like Valsartan, Losartan and Irbesartan, the FDA announced that NDMA, or nitrosodimethylamine, a known carcinogen, has been found in Zantac that was manufactured overseas. The FDA has advised companies to recall their ranitidine if testing shows levels of NDMA above the acceptable daily intake (96 nanograms per day or 0.32 parts per million for ranitidine).

The companies Novartis, Sandoz and Apotex all have FDA-recalled lots of Zantac. As of October 1, 2019, major drugstore chains including CVS, Walgreen’s and Walmart are pulling Zantac and other generic versions of ranitidine from their store inventories and shelves.

More About NDMA

  • NDMA is a semi-volatile organic chemical that forms in both industrial and natural processes. It is a member of N-nitrosamines, a family of potent carcinogens
  • NDMA is not currently produced in pure form or commercially used in the United States, except for research purposes. It was formerly used in production of liquid rocket fuel, antioxidants, additives for lubricants and softeners for copolymers
  • NDMA is also an unintended byproduct of the chlorination of wastewater and drinking water at treatment plants that use chloramines for disinfection

How does Zantac work?

Zantac is a histamine-2 blocker that works by reducing the amount of acid a person’s stomach produces. In addition to heartburn, Zantac is also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and is available in both prescription and over the counter versions.

What are some of the common side effects and medical complications of Zantac?

Zantac can cause the following side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Muscle Pain
  • Stomach Pain
  • Throat Discomfort
  • Swollen Breasts (in Men)

If you experience consistent side effects, notice a fast progression or any of those more dangerous side effects, you or your doctor can send a report to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or toll-free by phone at 1-800 332-1088.

Does Zantac cause throat, nose, esophageal or other types of cancer?

Numerous scientific studies have shown that when Zantac’s active ingredient ranitidine is metabolized by the body, it results in production of NDMA, a known carcinogen, which has the potential to cause cancer to develop in different organs, most notably esophageal and throat, areas of impact for ranitidine.  Patients and consumers are now filing lawsuits alleging that several drug companies failed to warn consumers about this chemical link between Ranitidine and NDMA on the drug’s labeling.

Signs of Esophageal and Throat Cancer

If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Weight loss without trying
  • Pressure or burning in the chest
  • Frequent Indigestion and heartburn
  • Frequent choking on food
  • Unexplained pain behind the breastbone or in the throat
  • Dysphagia, increasing problems with swallowing, including food getting stuck

The Dunken Law Approach to Representing Patients with Zantac Use

If you took Zantac at least twice per week for two or more years, over the counter or prescription, and you developed any of the following cancers, you may have a case:

  • Colorectal
  • Gastric
  • Primary Liver
  • Bladder
  • Stomach
  • Kidney
  • Esophageal

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