Are you familiar with Zantac? Are you taking this popular medication?
Zantac is a popular acid-reducing medication that can help treat a variety of health issues such as the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and many more.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, issued a recall for this medication and has mandated that it should be removed from US markets, including all ranitidine products. The recall was issued by the FDA on April 1, 2020 because they found that Zantac and other ranitidine products can cause cancer. This is certainly a major concern for those who have been taking this medication for many years now and never realized that they can get cancer from taking Zantac.
N-nitrosodimethylamine In Zantac
The FDA tested some Zantac samples and it showed that the medication contains higher levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA (a toxic carcinogen that can cause cancer) than food. Although the effects of NDMA in humans are still not clear, the FDA still listed it as a possible carcinogen for both humans and animals. As of now, the FDA is still trying to find out how NDMA contaminated Zantac and other ranitidine products.
One probable cause is that ranitidine is a medication that’s quite unstable, which causes it to break down on its own and form NDMA. When you take Zantac, it will mix with the gastric fluids and sodium nitrites that are produced by the body during the digestion process.
When that happens, Zantac breaks down and high amounts of NDMA are then produced. During this process, Zantac produces 304,500 ng of NDMA per tablet. That amount of NDMA produced is more than the FDA-approved daily intake of NDMA, which is only 96 nanograms per day.
The FDA also mentioned that it’s possible that Zantac, especially its generic versions, are already contaminated with NDMA. This is more likely to happen to Zantac medications that are manufactured in countries that lack strict quality control standards when it comes to manufacturing medications.
Types Of Cancers That You Can Possibly Get From Zantac
The problem with NDMA is that it can lead to certain types of cancers, even in small amounts. The longer your exposure to this toxic carcinogen, the higher your risks of getting cancer and other health issues such as liver disease.
It has been found that the NDMA produced by Zantac can have a significant role in the development of digestive tract cancers. Esophageal cancer is one of the many digestive tract cancers and it might be caused by NDMA-contaminated Zantac.
While scientists and researchers are still trying to find further scientific evidence about the potential connections between various types of cancer and Zantac, recent test results suggest that NMDA-contaminated Zantac can cause the following types of cancer in humans:
1. Stomach Or Gastric Cancer
This is a buildup of abnormal cells in your stomach and can develop in any part of the stomach slowly over many years. Before this cancer can fully develop, it will often make precancerous changes in your stomach.
2. Small Intestine Or Small Bowel Cancer
This is an uncommon type of cancer that develops in the small intestine, hence the name. The small intestine, also known as the small bowel, is a long tube connecting the stomach to the large intestine. The small intestine digests and absorbs the nutrients from the food we eat. It also produces hormones that aids the digestion process.
Aside from that, the small intestine also plays a vital role in our body’s immune system. The small intestine contains cells that help fight bacteria and viruses that enter our body through our mouth. Doctors are not always sure how people develop small bowel cancer.
But they do know that you’re more likely to get this disease because of your age, sex, genetics, smoking and alcohol use, or if you are taking some medications, in this case, Zantac.
3. Colorectal Cancer
This is a type of cancer that affects both the colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer is also called bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer.
4. Esophageal Cancer
This is a type of cancer that occurs in the esophagus. The esophagus is a lengthy and hollow muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach and is responsible for moving the food from the mouth to your throat, and then to your stomach. Esophageal cancer develops slowly over many years and usually begins in the cells in the inner linings of the esophagus.
5. Kidney Cancer
This is a type of cancer that occurs in your kidneys. Kidney cancer happens when the kidney cells become cancerous and grow uncontrollably, which then form into a tumor. If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney cancer and have been taking Zantac as medication for the last couple of years, it’s highly possible that your cancer is caused by this medicine.
6. Prostate Cancer
This is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes for cancer deaths in men in the US. Prostate cancer is known for its cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body once they break away from the prostate tumor.
The cancer cells will travel through blood vessels and attach themselves onto other tissues. They will grow to form a new tumor and cause damage in parts of the body where they’ve landed.
7. Brain Cancer
This is a type of cancer that may begin in the brain itself or when cancer cells from other parts of the body spread or metastasize to the brain. The cancer cells will grow to form a tumor which affects the brain functions such as memory, sensation, muscle control, and other normal body functions.
Studies show that Zantac can cause brain cancer in people, especially those ones who have been taking this medication for years. Zantac can produce high amounts NDMA once digested and this toxic organic chemical can cause cancer potentially in the brain and in other parts of the body as well. Even small amounts of NDMA is enough to permanently alter our DNA and cause significant damage.
8. Breast Cancer
This is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the breast. It’s one of the leading types of cancer that affects women in the US, second only to skin cancer. Breast cancer can also occur in men, but women are more vulnerable. Thanks to substantial breast cancer awareness and developments in its diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer survival rates have increased. The number of deaths caused by breast cancer is steadily declining over the last couple of years.
If you’ve been taking Zantac for many years, you should go see your doctor as soon as possible, as the FDA warned that there is a significant breast cancer risk among women who are taking Zantac medication. They have mandated that Zantac is contaminated with NDMA, which can cause breast cancer and other types of cancer as well.
9. Pancreatic Cancer
This is a type of cancer that occurs in your pancreas. Like all other types of cancer, pancreatic cancer develops slowly over many years. Even though pancreatic cancer is aggressive, it’s symptoms often go unnoticed and will only manifest once the cancer has already advanced.
Pancreatic cancer is also one of the cancers listed by the FDA that you can get from taking Zantac and other types of ranitidine products. You should be really concerned with your health if you have been taking Zantac for many years. Go see your doctor immediately for early diagnosis to see if you have developed pancreatic cancer or other types of cancers.
Common Zantac Cancer Symptoms
As mentioned, if you’ve been taking Zantac for a very long time, you should immediately discuss your concerns with your doctor. It’s also important that you’re aware of some basic common cancer symptoms caused by Zantac as this can potentially help save your life. Common Zantac cancer symptoms includes:
- Sudden weight loss
- Poor or lack of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Change in bowel habits
- Dark urine
- Back pain
- Your skin or eyes turn yellow
- Blood in your urine
- Itchy skin
- Painful urination
- Feeling the need to urinate every time
- New abdominal pain
- Bloody or tarry stools, which is a sign of intestinal bleeding
- Light-colored or greasy stools
Because of the recall issued by the FDA, a lot of people who have been taking Zantac or other ranitidine medications are very concerned right now. Zantac is an over-the-counter medication which makes it very popular among the public, but they didn’t know that it has major side effects.
If you’ve been diagnosed with one of the cancers listed above and have been taking Zantac for several years now, know that you have the right to file a lawsuit against the Zantac manufacturer. You can file a lawsuit against Zantac as compensation for the injuries and damages that you suffered due to the negligence of the liable parties who didn’t take the proper precautions when manufacturing the medication.