Ranitidine is the active ingredient in Zantac and is at the heart of the reason why Zantac was removed from consumer markets. Major organizations, like the University of Utah Health, are reporting on the FDA’s decision to issue a voluntary recall for all ranitidine products. Ranitidine is an antacid and antihistamine that reduces the amount of stomach acid produced by the digestive system and fights inflammation.
Ranitidine was used to treat conditions related to stomach acid production. It adjusted the hormones that are responsible for triggering stomach acid production so that the amount of stomach acid being made is lowered. It treated conditions like:
- Acid reflux: Acid reflux is a condition where the muscle that seals the top of the stomach shut fails to keep stomach acid from entering the esophagus. Reducing the overall amount of stomach acid reduces the chance of this happening.
- Esophagitis: By reducing the amount of stomach acid, damage to the esophagus is less likely.
- Gastritis: Gastritis includes any condition that creates inflammation in the lining of the stomach.
- Stomach ulcers: Stomach ulcers are damaged or irritated tissue in the lining of the stomach. They can be painful until they heal.
There are many other conditions that can be treated with ranitidine that are not covered on this list. If you experience any of these conditions, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Preventive care and early intervention are effective ways to ensure that you minimize lasting effects of issues associated with stomach conditions.
History of Ranitidine
Ranitidine was created in the late 1970s and was used commercially for the first time several years later. Throughout its lifespan, ranitidine was promoted as a vital medication for many conditions.
In 2017, concerns over the findings of several research studies became public information, which triggered an FDA investigation. These studies found NDMA—a possible carcinogen for humans—in Zantac tablets from several manufacturers. The FDA tried to repeat the results of the study but struggled to get an exact duplication. However, it did find that NDMA could be found at elevated levels in the urine of people that had recently taken Zantac. When the concerns over the possible NDMA contamination become a major concern, the FDA recalled it.
In 2020, the FDA issued a voluntary recall for all ranitidine products, including Zantac. Although the recall was voluntary, most retailers complied and removed ranitidine medications from shelves and pharmacies. Even the manufacturers stopped production and sales. This made ranitidine products extremely difficult to come by in the U.S. market. Although it is not outright banned from sale in the U.S., the voluntary recall made it inaccessible to nearly everyone.
Cases are being built against the manufacturers of ranitidine products. Many of these cases assert that the manufacturers should have known that NDMA could be found in their products. Manufacturers have a responsibility to thoroughly study their products and prevent harm to consumers. Consumers who have developed any of the many potential side effects and medical conditions related to taking ranitidine may have a case against the manufacturers. These cases focus on recovering compensation for medical bills and other expenses.
There are several alternatives to ranitidine on the market. Ranitidine is just one of several medications of the same class, and there are multiple classes of medications that can be used in similar ways. Some of the alternatives to ranitidine include:
There are other alternatives available that are not covered on this list. Tagamet and Pepcid are H2 histamine receptor antagonists, like ranitidine. The others are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). When switching to any of these or other options, consult your doctor first. There is always a possibility of adverse effects when changing medications. Your doctor can monitor your condition and help prevent these adverse effects before they become serious.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ranitidine
One of the most frequently asked questions about ranitidine involves the development of cancer. Ranitidine naturally produces NDMA as it breaks down through digestion or over time. NDMA is a possible carcinogen, a chemical that can cause cancer. It has been linked to multiple types of cancer that form along the digestive system. Ranitidine itself does not cause cancer, but the fact that it creates NDMA means that it is linked to multiple types of cancer.
Contact a Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you or a loved one experienced a medical condition after taking ranitidine products like Zantac, you may want to consult a lawyer to see if you have a case. You may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer for your medical and other expenses. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to speak to our legal team.