Understanding your Risks of Cancer if you've used Zantac

What is Zantac?

Zantac is a commonly used medication for heartburn, previously available either over-the-counter or by prescription. Recently, it was discovered that manufacturers were including an ingredient titled N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a carcinogen that is known to be linked with certain cancers, affecting especially the liver.

Am I at risk?

Studies done by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as third parties have concluded that the risk for contracting Zantac-related cancer increases the longer you take the drug due to long-term exposure to NDMA.

It has also been concluded in these studies that the amount of NDMA found in Zantac, though negligible at first, increases over time and depending on the temperature at which it is stored. If it is kept at room temperature or higher, the levels of NDMA will increase, sometimes past what is acceptable for human consumption.

If you have been taking the medication for a long period of time or have experienced symptoms or a diagnosis of cancer, talk to your medical professional about what alternative medications you may take that do not have the harmful additive.

What should I look for?

There are certain ways you can be on the lookout for side effects from the NDMA in Zantac. One of these is knowing what parts of the body it most affects. High enough levels of exposure can do damage to your liver, and symptoms of overexposure are as follows:

  • Headache

  • Fever

  • Nause

  • Jaundice

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal cramps

  • An enlarged liver

  • Reduced function of the liver, kidneys, and lungs

  • Dizziness

If you experienced one or more of these side effects while on Zantac, talk to your doctor about the risk of being overexposed to the ingredient and the risk of cancer.

Those who have certain occupations where they might come into contact with the compound are also at a higher risk, especially those who take the medication in addition to going to work on a daily basis. Those who work in tanneries, pesticide manufacturing plants, and rubber and tire plants may also want to speak to their healthcare professionals about the possible risk of exposure and cancer.

What should I do if I am at risk?

The best thing to do in this situation would be to talk to your healthcare provider about coming up with an alternative treatment plan that does not involve NDMA. It is suggested by the FDA that those still taking the drug should stop (after consulting your doctor) and anyone who still has a supply of the drug should dispose of it properly, either by dropping it off at an approved site or disposing of it by flushing it if it is on the approved list. For more information on how to properly dispose of medication, you no longer need, visit the FDA website.

Have You Used Zantac? Contact an Attorney Today

If you think that there is a link between your intake of Zantac and your cancer diagnosis, you may want to contact an attorney and review your options for a personal injury lawsuit. Proof you took the medication, proof of diagnosis, and a clear link between the two must be proven. Contact our office online, or call us at 267-214-8608 to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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