The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued partial recalls for ranitidine and nizatidine products due to concerns that the medicines could be carcinogenic. Certain batches of Zantac, the most popular off-the-shelf and over-the-counter brand of ranitidine, have tested positive for detectable amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance considered a possible carcinogen.
If you take Zantac or another ranitidine medication for heartburn and ulcers, what should you do now that the products could have dangerous long-term consequences?
Check the Recall List
Not all Zantac products have been recalled. Although, many retailers are no longer placing them on their shelves until the FDA gives clear instructions the use of the products is safe.
To see if you are clear to keep taking the Zantac in your medicine cabinet, click here to visit the official FDA website. On that page, you can find a list of recalled ranitidine products sorted by their lot number. You should be able to find the lot number printed somewhere on the product packaging, usually on the bottom near the barcode. If you cannot find the lot number, then you should discard the products and purchase new ones that you confirm are not in the recall list.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have a ranitidine or Zantac prescription written by your medical provider, you should not stop taking your regular dosages without first speaking with your doctor. Depending on your health and medical conditions, your doctor may believe it is safer for you to keep taking your prescription with a risk of NDMA exposure than it would be to stop taking it altogether.
Your doctor may also recommend taking an alternative to ranitidine to treat your heartburn, ulcers, or other similar conditions. Proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec OTC could be useful. Famotidine and cimetidine prescriptions might also be available for your use.
While speaking to your doctor about your concerns regarding Zantac use, ask them if changing your diet or lifestyle habits can help, too. They may be able to recommend nutritional changes that naturally reduce your stomach acid levels, like drinking less coffee and eating fewer foods with high-fat content.
Call an Attorney
Lastly, if you have been diagnosed with stomach, liver, or kidney cancer – or any other type of cancer of the digestive tract – after taking Zantac, then you should speak to a local lawyer about it. You might have a valid claim to bring against Zantac and its manufacturers for selling an unsafe product with carcinogenic properties.
Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP in Cleveland, Ohio is currently hearing from Zantac users and discussing possible Zantac recall lawsuits. We would like to hear from you, too. Call (216) 600-0114, let us know what happened during a free case evaluation, and we can let you know if you have a claim to pursue.