Ranitidine can damage kidneys because it contains a chemical called NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine), which can cause kidney cancer and reduced kidney function.
Acid Reflux Medications
There are two commonly prescribed types of medication for acid reflux: H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). H2 blockers block histamine 2, which is one type of acid-producing stimulus in the stomach. PPIs block acid production at the actual source (the proton pump), which also decreases stomach acid and reduces all acid production. While both of these medications assist patients that struggle with acid reflux, both of these types of drugs can cause serious medical complications.
Ranitidine is commonly sold under the brand name Zantac, which is an over-the-counter medication for acid reflux. Ranitidine is an H2 blocker and not a PPI. Therefore, while it relieves heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach, it does not block acid production at the actual source. Ranitidine works very differently than PPIs, and therefore the dangers of ranitidine are very different than those of PPIs.
Dangers of Ranitidine
Zantac was once one of the most popular drugs in the world and prescribed to millions of Americans who experienced some form of heartburn. However, in 2019, ranitidine tested positive for NDMA. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies NDMA as a likely human carcinogen.
Following this discovery, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) made the decision to remove all ranitidine products, including Zantac, from the market. Additional testing by the FDA proved that the NDMA levels not only existed, but the older the ranitidine product was, the greater the level of NDMA. Testing showed that the levels were above the acceptable daily intake limit for the NDMA carcinogen.
Ranitidine and Kidney Cancer
The American Society of Clinical Oncology indicates that kidney cancer is the sixth-most common cancer for men in the United States, and the eighth-most common cancer for women.
While both H2 blockers and PPIs relieve symptoms of heartburn and sour stomach, these medications are very different and affect users very differently. Because of the substantial amount of discussion regarding PPIs and kidney damage or renal failure, many have also believed that other H2 blockers such as ranitidine damages kidneys as well.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry determined that exposure to NDMA increased the development of lung and liver cancer in animals, and therefore could do the same to humans. The study also showed birth defects and even death in fetuses of animals exposed to NDMA.
What to Do if You Took Zantac
If you took Zantac, or another medication containing the drug ranitidine, the FDA says you should consult your doctor on the best course of action and, if possible, stop using the medication altogether.
If you take the over-the-counter medication, the FDA says to throw it away and stop taking it. However, if you are taking the prescription version, you should always visit with your physician or health care professional regarding your medical condition and what treatment options exist for your specific medical condition. Other medications exist to assist those with heartburn and acid-reflux issues.
The FDA has yet to find NMDA in other acid-reflux and heartburn medications such as:
If you have kidney damage as a result of taking Zantac or another ranitidine medication, you could be entitled to compensation. After visiting a doctor and getting the medical treatment you need for your injuries, you can contact a law firm that can help you get compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
How a Ranitidine Lawyer Can Help
If you suffered injuries, or ranitidine damaged your kidneys, due to taking the medication Zantac or another type of ranitidine medication, you could be entitled to compensation for losses related to the kidney damage such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning potential
If a loved one died due to complications related to ranitidine medications, you could also be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial costs.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 can help you understand your legal rights and how a ranitidine cancer lawsuit lawyer can help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation and to help you understand your legal options.