What is Zantac, and What is it used for?

Zantac is a medication that has been in circulation since the early 1980s, being prescribed to help those with heartburn. Recently, however, it has been revealed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the manufacturers of the drug have recalled it, citing a harmful substance called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as the cause of the recall.

This carcinogen has been linked to cancers diagnosed in those who have taken Zantac for long periods of time, with the amount present in the drug increasing over time to the point where it is unsafe for human consumption.

Does Zantac have other uses?

Ranitidine — or Zantac, as it is known more widely — is an over-the-counter drug used primarily to treat heartburn as a result of acid indigestion. It can also be used to treat ulcers in the stomach and intestines, erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. It is an H2 blocker, which means that it works by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach.


Each of the three different types of tablet — 75 mg, 150 mg, 150 mg Cool Mint — have a dosage of one tablet that can be used up to 2 times every day. Each pill is taken orally and without chewing. According to the Zantac website, those who use it should feel relief in 30 minutes to an hour and it should last for up to 12 hours. The 150 mg tablets are each the maximum strength that is manufactured. It is most effective when taken 30-60 minutes before eating.

Are there side effects?

There are typical side effects associated with using this medication. Headache, constipation, and diarrhea are the most common. Serious side effects can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations)

  • Easy bleeding/bruising

  • Enlarged breasts

  • Severe tiredness

  • Fast/slow/irregular heartbeat

  • Signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills)

  • Severe stomach/abdominal pain

  • Dark urine

  • Yellowing skin/eyes

Alert your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms or those of an allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling of face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

For several years, the effects of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in humans have been investigated, and the harmful substance has recently been linked to Zantac and is thought to cause side effects that affect the user’s health long-term.

The carcinogen has been known to cause certain cancers in high dosages and studies have shown that while the amount present in the drug at the manufacturing stage is negligible, over time it increases and has the potential to surpass what is acceptable to be consumed by humans. All of this is dependent on the amount of time the medication is left out, how long you have been taking it, and the temperature at which it is stored.

Contact an Experienced Zantac Injury Attorney Today

If you've taken Zantac for a long period of time and have been diagnosed with cancer during or after treatment, there may be a connection between the intake of NDMA and your diagnosis. Consult with your doctor and, if you believe the drug is linked to your diagnosis, you may be able to seek legal justice. Contact Kwartler Manus, LLC. online or call the office at (267) 214-8608 to schedule a consultation today.


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