Ranitidine, marketed under the brand name Zantac, is an H2 blocker that treats stomach and intestine ulcers and prevents them from returning after they have healed.1 It can treat heartburn and other esophageal issues arising from too much acid in the stomach.2 The medication was previously available with or without a prescription.3 Common side effects include headache, constipation, and diarrhea.4
Who is Prescribed Ranitidine?
Ranitidine was sold over-the-counter (OTC) primarily to prevent and relieve heartburn.5 Prescription ranitidine was given for multiple purposes, including stomach and intestine ulcers and gastrointestinal reflux.6
New Side Effect
NDMA is a probable human carcinogen sometimes found in water, meat, dairy products, and vegetables.7 While safe in low levels, sustained high levels of NDMA exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans.8
How the New Side Effect Came to Be Known
In September 2019, several major pharmacies pulled ranitidine products off the market after the FDA issued a warning linking ranitidine with a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.9
In April 2020, the FDA requested all manufacturers of both prescription and OTC ranitidine to pull the drugs from the market.10 FDA testing confirmed that NDMA levels in ranitidine increase under normal storage conditions, and significantly so when stored at higher temperatures.11
Ranitidine may have been exposed to these higher temperatures during distribution and handling by customers.12 According to FDA tests, the older the ranitidine product or the longer period of time since its manufacture, the greater the level of NDMA.13
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with cancer after using Zantac (Ranitidine)? Our Birmingham defective drug and medical product attorneys will fight for you. Contact us today.