Zantac is a drug that is widely used for heartburn treatment. Many people have relied on Zantac for years to manage daily symptoms of indigestion, chest pain, and burning in the throat.
Zantac and other ranitidine-based drugs have been recalled by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drugs have tested positive for a carcinogenic impurity, raising concerns about the safety of the medication.
What is Zantac, and What is Ranitidine?
Ranitidine is the generic name for the heartburn medication brand, Zantac. Zantac was formerly the most popular ranitidine-based medication used for heartburn treatment. It was available as a prescription drug and an over-the-counter medication and in various forms including pills and syrups.
Before Zantac was recalled, it was available in most major stores. It can no longer be purchased at Walmart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, CVS, and other nationwide retailers.
Patients who rely on Zantac for heartburn treatment should speak with their doctor about the possibility of switching their medication. There are multiple heartburn medications available that do not contain ranitidine and serve the same purpose as Zantac. Nexium (esomeprazole), Pepcid (famotidine), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), and Tagamet (cimetidine) are some drugs that have been labeled as safe by the FDA.
How Heartburn Medication Works
Zantac and other ranitidine-based medications are classified as antacids and antihistamines. Antacids are made of “base” or “alkaline” substances that neutralize stomach acid and minimize the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. Antihistamines are primarily used as allergy medications. Ranitidine is considered as an “H2 blocker.” The antihistamine properties of the drug inhibit the histamine receptor H2, a protein that promotes the production of gastric acid.
Ranitidine’s interactions within the stomach can generate N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a compound that is a known carcinogen. The use of Zantac and other ranitidine drugs has been associated with the development of cancer — particularly cancers of the digestive system — and inspired nationwide litigation.
The Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP legal team is available to discuss your case if you are a regular Zantac user and have been diagnosed with cancer. We can represent you in your claim against the pharmaceutical companies.
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