Zantac has been commonly used as a treatment for acid indigestion, heartburn, GERD(Gastroesophageal reflux disease), and stomach ulcers. It’s a member of the H2 blocker family of medicines. H2 blockers, aka H2 receptor antagonists, are known to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
According to the article “FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) from the Market” the agency has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.
Zantac(ranitidine) became a very tainted drug when it started getting linked with cancer. April 2020 was the darkest phase in the history of the drug as it was recalled from the market because of the potential cancer risk as flagged in several studies that started in 2016. According to these studies, researchers discovered that healthy individuals using a standard dose of ranitidine (Zantac), a heartburn medication, had abnormally high levels of NDMA, a suspected cancer-causing chemical.
There have been many lawsuits against the drug and the manufacturer that seek compensation for alleged pancreatic cancer caused by Zantac use. The situation became so worse that today you can find lawyers representing victims of pancreatic cancer very easily.
But is it true that Zantac causes cancer? What does Zantac contain that is linked to cancer? What are the types of cancers that are associated with the use of Zantac? Keep reading to find the answer to these and other questions.
How does Zantac cause cancer according to studies?
The major component in Zantac, NDMA, has been linked to cancer in both animals and humans. The connection between Zantac and NDMA is unusual. Ranitidine is the only drug among those identified to be contaminated with NDMA by the FDA, in which the levels of NDMA carcinogen may grow over time as the drug rests on the shelf.
The other test subjects included losartan, valsartan, and metformin.
In June 2019, the pharmacy Valisure alerted the FDA to the problem. Following this, in September 2019, it submitted a citizen’s petition with the FDA requesting that all ranitidine products, including Zantac, be recalled from pharmacies. Ranitidine was discovered to be unstable and capable of producing extremely high quantities of NDMA, according to the pharmacy’s investigation. Ranitidine contains the compounds nitrite and dimethylamine, which when combined produce NDMA.
NDMA levels substantially exceeded the FDA’s current daily permissible intake guideline of 96 ng(nanogram) in Zantac, according to Stanford University and other research institutions. The Stanford study hypothesized that ranitidine might produce millions of nanograms of NDMA.
What are the types of Cancers that are associated with Zantac?
Many types of cancer have been linked to Zantac and other ranitidine products tainted with NDMA, including pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, and prostate cancer.
Many persons who acquired cancer after using ranitidine did not have a family history of cancer, as per attorneys handling Zantac cancer claims. Their doctors insisted that the cancer was caused by something in the environment. NDMA is a pollutant in the environment.
It’s crucial to note that this area of research is still in its early stages, and experts have yet to find conclusive evidence that Zantac promotes any sort of cancer. They can’t, however, rule out the possibility that the medicine will cause cancer.
What are the realistic chances of getting cancer by consuming Zantac?
There is extremely minimal proof that NDMA in ranitidine causes cancer, and experts have yet to calculate the absolute risk.
According to a 2020 article in The Oncologist by Richard H. Adamson and Bruce A. Chabner, a study under assessment by doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center indicated an elevated risk of getting specific cancers.
According to Adamson and Chabner, the cancer risk for valsartan, another NDMA-contaminated medicine, ranges from 12 to nearly 30 instances per 100,000 persons for those taking 320 mg of valsartan with 3.7 micrograms of NDEA and 24.1 micrograms of NDMA every day for four years.
Another study looked at over 459,000 participants from the UK Biobank and discovered over 26,000 people who had been diagnosed with cancer. Ranitidine was used by 1.9 percent of those surveyed, but the researchers found no link between its use and overall cancer risk.
Zantac has been widely used as a drug for treating heartburn, stomach ulcers, and more. While the continuous use of the drug has been linked to cancer, at the same time, no conclusive evidence exists at the moment.
Many studies and research are going on the topic, and we can expect to gain a substantial amount of evidence in the years to come. That said, it’s safe to say that steering clear of the drug is the best thing you can do in any given situation.