What Is Zantac®️ and What Is It Used for?
Zantac®️ began as a prescription medication and then turned into an over-the-counter histamine-2 (H2) receptor antagonist. Essentially, the amount of acid created by the stomach is decreased through the introduction of Zantac®️ and its active ingredient ranitidine. The build-up of acid can potentially cause heartburn and ulcers in certain individuals whose stomach lining is not strong enough or well-lined to hold the acid in place. Zantac®️ was able to provide relief for many of these patients.
What Are the Side Effects of Zantac®️?
When any type of prescription or over-the-counter medication enters the body, there is always a risk that there will be side effects. Even those drugs which have been on the market for many years will have well-documented side effects that may impact the patients who take the medications. For Zantac®️, these common side effects include:
- increased gastric distress
- extreme fatigue
These may not seem like the most dire side effects and could be tolerable since patients were able to find relief from their heartburn and ulcers. However, Zantac’s primary ingredient was connected with a far more serious and life-threatening side effect that certainly caused the need for re-examination by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a recall.
How Does Zantac®️ Work?
As the active ingredient in Zantac®️, ranitidine (as a member of a group of other H2-blockers including cimetidine, famotidine, and nizatidine) is a H2-receptor antagonist (or H2-blocker) that works to decrease the acid produced by the cells in the lining of the stomach. In order to aid digestion of food and to kill germs, the stomach normally produces corrosive acid. To prevent the acid from harming the body, a natural mucous barrier is created to protect the lining of the stomach from being eroded. If there is a breakdown of the barrier or a problem with the stomach lining, acid may escape and lead to ulcers or heartburn.
Ranitidine blocks a trigger of the proton pump and is helpful when treating conditions caused by too much acid being produced. That is why Zantac®️ is an effective way to relieve the symptoms of heartburn caused by sour stomach and acid indigestion as well as stomach and intestinal ulcers and GERD.
Illness linked to the use of Zantac®️
In addition to these effects listed above, the makers of Zantac®️ kept the most severe of possible side effects hidden from the public and from the FDA. It was discovered that Zantac®️ (and ranitidine, specifically) has an unstable molecular make-up that breaks down into high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a well-known cancer-causing agent. It has been used in other products such as gasoline, rocket fuel, and petroleum products. This carcinogen has the potential to cause the following types of cancers in thousands of consumers:
- Bladder Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
Exposure to NDMA has been classified by the World Health Organization as carcinogenic, so the fact that this side effect was hidden from the public for so long concerning the use of Zantac®️ is particularly problematic. Therefore, the drug has been recalled from pharmacy shelves, and patients who have developed cancers directly related to NDMA deserve to be compensated for their pain and suffering.
Contact Our Experienced Product Liability Attorneys
At the law offices of Carey Danis & Lowe, our product liability attorneys have been representing individuals who have been injured by America’s largest corporations since 1995. Our firm has played a significant role in many high-profile mass tort cases because we care about the victims in these cases. In the last decade, we have worked tirelessly for clients harmed by pharmaceutical companies and their drugs and have obtained over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements. Our attorneys will continue to fight in state and federal courts for those injured by harmful drugs.
If you or a loved one has developed cancer that has been linked to NDMA exposure from Zantac®️/ranitidine, our experienced lawyers at Carey Danis & Lowe can help. We are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation and determine if you might be eligible to fight for compensation, including coverage of medical expenses related to Zantac, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and punitive damages against the manufacturer. Contact us today to discuss your case.