Heartburn is an uncomfortable and often embarrassing problem. Remedies such as Beano and medications such as Zantac can offer relief from heartburn and other stomach ailments. However, Zantac has been shown to be harmful to people who use it continually. It has recently been revealed that Zantac contains a chemical that causes cancer.
How Acid-Reducing Drugs Work
There are two different kinds of acid-reducing drugs on the market: H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). H2 blockers block histamine 2, which is an acid-generating stimuli in the stomach. An H2 blocker will reduce acid in the stomach for about 8 hours. PPIs form a barrier at proton pumps in the stomach. PPI blockers reduce acid for 24 hours.
H2 blockers are used to treat stomach inflammations and peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are painful sores in the stomach that are caused by an overabundance of gas in the organ.
What is Zantac?
Zantac, or Ranitidine as it is also called, is an H2 blocker. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered that Zantac and generic versions of the drug contained significant amounts of N-Nitrosodimethylamine NDMA, a chemical that has been known to cause cancer. The agency did a recall of the drug in 2020. In April, the FDA requested that all druggists remove Zantac from the shelves for the foreseeable future.
The FDA research found that when Zantac breaks down, NDMA is created. The levels of NDMA increased when the drug is stored in high temperatures and when it gets closer to its expiration date.
NDMA is a class B carcinogen that has been linked to cancer and liver failure. It has been used to create tumors in laboratory mice who were to be used in cancer research.
Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to patients and the general public to make drugs that are safe. The manufacturers of Zantac led the public to believe that the side effects of taking the drug included nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, and constipation, but they did not mention cancer. There is some evidence that Sanofi, the company that made Zantac, knew that regular usage was linked to cancer, and that they did not alert the press or the public.
The drug has been popular since it was introduced in the early 1980s. It has been sold in both prescription and non-prescription levels. People used it for many different kinds of gut issues. Some prescription patients take as much as 300 mg once a day. However, the majority of users take the drug in 75 and 150 mg tablets. If a person were to take this drug on a long-term basis, they may greatly increase their chance of getting cancer.
It is one of the most popular drugs in the United States and was the country’s first prescription drug to generate a revenue of USD$1 billion.
What to do if You Have Taken Zantac
If you have taken Zantac on a long-term basis, you may qualify to join a class-action lawsuit against the manufactures of the drug. Class action suits can help people recover money for their current and future medical bills, and help educate the public about the dangers of certain drugs. It also sends a strong message to drug companies to test their products thoroughly before selling them.