What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac?

Zantac, generically known as ranitidine, helps decrease the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Lately, there has been news about the long-term side effects of Zantac. A cancer-causing contaminant found in Zantac may increase your risk of developing cancer. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled Zantac due to dangerous amounts of this carcinogenic agent.

There are also other potential adverse medical conditions that may develop if you use Zantac for an extended period.

Zantac Uses and Possible Link to Cancer

Zantac has been available in the United States since the mid-1980s. It is used to treat heartburn and acid indigestion. Zantac is also prescribed and recommended by doctors for other medical conditions, including:

  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Some patients who used Zantac over a long period of time and then were diagnosed with cancer are suing Zantac manufacturers. They allege that their long-term use of the drug contributed to their cancer diagnosis. There is credible research to back up these claims.

Research Points to Higher Cancer Risk with Zantac Usage

The FDA recalled Zantac after independent research discovered that Zantac tablets contained dangerously high levels of a known carcinogen. The carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, is used in cancer research studies. NDMA is given to laboratory research animals to induce tumors.

There is additional research available showing that Zantac increases the risk of cancer as well as other conditions:

  • A study published in Carcinogenesis discovered that higher NDMA levels are linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • A combined study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Healthcare System found that long-term use of heartburn medication, even in small doses, raises the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and upper gastrointestinal cancer.

Although there are other health and lifestyle factors that may increase your individual risk of developing cancer, many believe that a long-term side effect of Zantac may be cancer.

Types of Cancer from Long-Term Zantac Use

A Boynton Beach, Florida woman who used Zantac for more than 20 years alleges the drug caused breast cancer in her body, according to the Palm Beach Post. This is just an example of the almost 150 Zantac cancer lawsuits pending as of February 2020.

Other types of cancer possibly linked to long-term use of Zantac and ranitidine medicine include:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Small intestine cancer
  • Gastric or stomach cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Throat or nasal cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer

As Zantac cancer lawsuit lawyers, we recommend you learn about your legal rights if you were a Zantac user and were diagnosed with cancer. We can help.

Other Serious Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac

In addition to cancer, there are other serious medical conditions associated with taking the drug for an extended period. According to the FDA, those taking Zantac should seek medical care if they experience:

  • Chest or shoulder pain with shortness of breath
  • Chest or shoulder pain accompanied by sweating, dizziness, or feeling light-headed
  • Chest pain that is frequent and accompanied by wheezing, particularly while experiencing heartburn
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Heartburn that lasts more than three months
  • Vomiting, including vomiting with bloody discharge

The FDA also recommended that women who are pregnant or nursing should talk to their healthcare provider before taking Zantac.

Alternatives to Zantac

Drugstores and retailers have pulled Zantac from their shelves and are offering a refund to customers who purchased Zantac. Those who suffer from occasional heartburn or acid indigestion, below are some natural, drug-free alternatives:

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently
  • Stay within your healthy weight limit
  • Do not eat foods that you know cause heartburn, such as fried foods, chocolate, onions, fatty foods, and spicy foods
  • Do not overindulge in caffeine or alcohol
  • Avoid clothes that are tight-fitting around your stomach or waist
  • Do not smoke and if you do smoke, quit
  • Do not lie down within three hours of eating, particularly if it is a heavy meal
  • When you do lie down, use a wedge pillow to elevate your head above your heart

For those who have more frequent or serious heartburn or a related condition, the Mayo Clinic suggests talking to your doctor. There are other effective medications available without the NDMA risk.

Call to Learn More

If you took Zantac and were diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to financial recovery. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC at (713) 850-8600 for a free case evaluation.