Shreveport Zantac Lawyer
What is Zantac?
If you suffer from heartburn and use Zantac to ward off the pain, you may have some cause for concern. In September, the FDA reported that a small amount of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was detected in several brand-name and generic heartburn medications, including Zantac. NDMA is a carcinogen that is linked to liver damage and some types of cancer.
Zantac’s generic name is ranitidine, and it is used to prevent and treat heartburn, ulcers, and GERD.
The FDA made this discovery after a year of investigation into small amounts of NDMA in several blood pressure medications and other heartburn medications.
How does Zantac Work?
When you eat, your body releases a hormone called gastrin. Gastrin allows your stomach to churn and digest food efficiently.
The release of gastrin also prompts the release of histamine, which binds to H2 receptors and causes the release of gastric acid. This acid is held in your stomach by a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. This is the natural digestion process.
When you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes when it shouldn’t. The gastric acid will escape the stomach into the esophagus, causing the sensation of heartburn and acid reflux.
The generic of Zantac is ranitidine. Ranitidine is an H2 blocker. The point of taking an H2 blocker is to decrease the amount of gastric acid in your body so that none escapes into the esophagus.
What is NDMA?
NDMA is an environmental, classified B2 carcinogen that is commonly found in water along with meat, dairy, and vegetables. It has also been detected in small doses in some cosmetic products like shampoo, as well as cigarette smoke.
NDMA is typically used for research purposes. It is also a byproduct of many manufacturing processes at industrial sites, including tanneries, pesticide manufacturing plants, and rubber and tire manufacturers.
Engineers have used NDMA to make rocket fuel in the past. This carcinogen can also be a byproduct of chlorination in drinking water and wastewater.
A study this year found that NDMA intake is associated with a heightened risk of pancreatic cancer.
Is NDMA Dangerous?
Even though the FDA identified the NDMA in Zantac, they are not yet recommending anyone stop taking ranitidine products.
According to the FDA, the amount of NDMA found in ranitidine products does not exceed amounts that might be found in common foods. But several drugstores, including Walgreens and CVS, have opted to stop carrying ranitidine products.
In October, Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Zantac, voluntarily recalled the drug.
In large doses, NDMA is extremely toxic to the liver. Even in small amounts, many doctors associate NDMA with liver damage.
Should I Stop Taking Zantac?
If you take Zantac or another medication with ranitidine, there are certainly other options.
Medications like Tagamet and Pepcid are over the counter medications you can use to treat heartburn and acid reflux. These are viable alternatives to Zantac and other ranitidine medications.
If you take a ranitidine-based medicine regularly by prescription, your doctor can likely recommend a good substitute. The FDA stresses the importance of continuing to take your medication until your doctor officially changes your prescription.
If you are taking H2 blockers more than twice a week, there are also other long-term options your doctor can provide. Drugs like Nexium and Prevacid test completely negative for NDMA.
Injuries Associated with Zantac
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Uterine cancer
Contact the Greenwald Law Firm
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac or any other ranitidine-based drug for an extended period of time, contact attorney Joseph Greenwald at the Greenwald Law Firm. Schedule a consultation with us today to find out if you may be entitled to compensation.
You can also schedule a consultation by calling 318.219.7867.