Zantac is a medication administered to treat several issues, including stomach disorders, peptic ulcer disease, Zollinger–Ellison syndrome, erosive esophagitis, and throat problems. Its primary use is to treat and prevent heartburn.
Zantac contains Ranitidine which is its main active ingredient. Ranitidine is part of a group of drugs known as H2 blockers. The drug, Zantac has been linked to various health complications resulting in withdrawal from the U.S. market. It begs the question, ‘is Zantac safe?’ which we will try to answer.
Zantac is a popular drug that contains Ranitidine, an antihistamine, and antacid used to treat heartburn. However, it has serious side effects, which have led to many issues like the Zantac lawsuit.
The lawsuit resulted from more than 200 people in Florida who claim the manufacturing company failed to tell consumers that the drug contained a cancer-causing agent called NDMA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an investigation in 2019 and 2020 that led to the recall of various drugs by several manufacturers.
The FDA issued an order in April of 2020 for top manufacturers of Ranitidine medication, including Zantac, to recall their products. The investigation is what led to the discovery of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in Ranitidine medications. You will commonly find NDMA in low levels in certain foods such as roasted meat, cheese, and beer. It is often in these foods as a result of the fermentation and cooking methods.
The FDA study found that Ranitidine is an unstable molecule that undergoes profound changes with time. The issue with Zantac and other Ranitidine medication was not the result of the manufacturing process. NDMA levels in the drugs increased with time, especially if they were stored in higher than room temperatures. Some of the side effects of the drug include headaches, diarrhea, and constipation. Other side effects that can develop when you take Zantac are blurred vision, mood changes, easy bleeding, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, abdominal pain, dark urine, and yellow skin or eyes.
The above is not the complete list of side effects, so you should consult your doctor if you find more of them. You can also develop an allergic reaction to Ranitidine, although it is pretty rare. If you get signs of an allergic reaction such as itching, swelling, dizziness, and severe breathing issues, you should also contact your doctor.
If your doctor does prescribe Zantac or other Ranitidine medication, you should ask them for more details. Tell the doctor if you have any allergies or are allergic to any H2 blockers. Your medical history is also vital in helping your doctor come up with precautions when taking such drugs. You should particularly let the doctor or pharmacist know if you have a blood disorder, immunity issues, kidney problems, liver problems, lung diseases, or stomach disorders. Some of the side effects of using Zantac might be symptomatic of a more serious underlying medical condition.
It would be best if you avoided self-treating with Zantac or other Ranitidine medication even when you have severe heartburn or stomach issues. Ensure that you only take the drug when prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist. Drug interactions are also a serious concern and a consideration to make before using Zantac or other Ranitidine medication.
As we have seen above, Ranitidine works by decreasing stomach acid. The issue is that some drugs need stomach acid for proper absorption and effectiveness. Therefore, using them alongside Ranitidine will lead to complications. Moreover, you should avoid using Ranitidine medication like Zantac with other H2 blockers.
Clearly, Zantac and Ranitidine medications are not entirely safe, and more research needs to be done. You can take them safely by following your doctor’s instructions and taking several precautions. However, the safety concerns are too significant, and you should avoid Zantac if you can.