Not only can you become dependent on Zantac to avoid certain gastrointestinal issues, but that dependence could also be creating other health issues.
While this medication is traditionally not thought of as addictive like some other prescription drugs and substances like alcohol are, stopping Zantac use once you have begun using it regularly can come with some health effects and issues that could be considered withdrawal symptoms.
Zantac was available as both a prescription and an over-the-counter treatment for heartburn, acid reflux, and other similar health problems. It was recalled in 2020 after allegations that the drug could cause cancer.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Zantac
When you stop taking a medication that is meant to treat acid reflux and heartburn symptoms, the first thing to worry about is those issues coming back. The withdrawal effects may not be as rough as those associated with stopping the use of proton pump inhibitors, which are also used to control stomach acid, but withdrawing from Zantac can still come with unpleasant downsides.Your main problem will likely be rebound acid production. Since you are no longer taking a medication that inhibits stomach acid production, getting off Zantac can result in your body producing more acid than you are used to.
This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Excess gas
- Acid reflux
If you were dependent on Zantac to control these symptoms, you should talk to a doctor to make sure you have another way of dealing with these symptoms and any additional medical complications that could come along with them.
Other Health Risks Associated with Zantac
Unfortunately, the mild side effects and potential withdrawal symptoms are not the only health worries associated with Zantac and similar medications. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled the medication due to the presence of a potentially harmful substance.
Why Zantac Was Recalled
The FDA first issued a voluntary recall of Zantac and other ranitidine medications in 2019. It later followed that order with a mandatory recall. These recalls were triggered when researchers found higher than expected levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine in these common heartburn medications.
The FDA’s initial research showed negligible amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine in Zantac and similar medications. Unfortunately, later research revealed a potential health hazard.
N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, is classified as a B2 carcinogen, meaning it can likely cause multiple types of cancer to develop in humans. It is also damaging to the liver.
Fortunately, this substance is generally not harmful in small doses. It can even be found in some foods, like dairy products and water.
However, the problem arose when some researchers discovered that NDMA levels in medications like Zantac could begin to rise as they sat on store shelves or in medicine cabinets.
Studies, like this one in the journal Carcinogenesis, showed that subjects were excreting more N-nitrosodimethylamine in their urine than expected. This, along with other studies, showed that NDMA levels might be higher than expected.
These high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine could raise your risk of developing:
- Colorectal cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Liver disease
If You Have Suffered Harm After Taking Zantac, You May Have Legal Options
If you believe that you or a loved one has faced medical complications due to use or dependence on Zantac or a similar medication, you may have legal options. You can decide to pursue a personal injury case and damages that would help compensate you and your family for the pain, suffering, and financial stress you have experienced from Zantac use.
If you suspect that the increased levels of NDMA contributed to your cancer diagnosis or another health issue, you can pursue multiple types of damages, including but not limited to compensation covering:
- Medical expenses and the cost of future care
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Compensation cannot fix everything, but it can help your family rebuild in the face of financial and medical challenges.
Call for Your Free Consultation
If the usage or prescription of Zantac caused you harm, you can contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today to see how a personal injury lawyer could help you.
Dial (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation and case evaluation. There is no obligation, and you do not pay us unless you receive a settlement.