While other heartburn medications have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, ranitidine and its brand name, Zantac, have not been shown to cause heart attacks. That being said, Zantac does present additional health risks, so much so that it was removed from the market due to the presence of a contaminant that may cause cancer.
Zantac vs. Other Heartburn Medications
A 2015 study in the Public Library of Science One found that some medications used to treat acid reflux contributed to increased cardiovascular problems. In fact, the study noted that this risk even affected people who had no history of heart disease, tying the heart issues to the drugs themselves.
However, the heartburn medicines linked with this increased risk did not include Zantac. Instead, they were limited to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec. These medications reduce nitric oxide in blood vessel walls, which would offer protection from a heart attack, the study’s author told Reuters. By contrast, Zantac is an H2 blocker, which functions differently and therefore does not appear to pose any risk to the heart.
PPIs and H2s
H2 blockers function by reducing the stomach acid secreted by glands in the stomach lining, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. While many PPIs have been linked with an increased risk of heart attack, H2s have not. Of the H2 blockers, only Zantac has been linked with serious enough health effects to prompt a recall.
If you have experienced a heart attack and suspect your heartburn medication contributed, you may have been taking one of the following PPI drugs:
If, by contrast, you took an H2 blocker to treat your acid reflux, you may recognize one of these names:
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Nizatidine (Axid)
There are some side effects for any H2 drugs, but they are rare. If you took Zantac, you may be at risk for different adverse health effects instead, especially cancer.
The Risks of Zantac
In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall for ranitidine products, such as Zantac, because they contained the contaminant N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Some research has shown that prolonged exposure to NDMA caused cancer in rats and other mammals, thereby making it possible the contaminant can cause the same complications in humans.
Possible cancers associated with NDMA and Zantac are:
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 646-5468
Legal Ramifications of Faulty Drugs
Both Zantac and PPIs that increase risk of heart attack can be grounds for a lawsuit. Zantac in particular has inspired legal action by cancer patients who suspect their condition resulted from their use of the drug.
At the crux of these lawsuits is a drug manufacturer’s responsibility to make consumers aware of the potential side effects of a product before selling it. This is called their duty of care.
Duty of Care
This refers to any individual or company’s responsibility to take reasonable measures not to harm others with their actions or products. In the case of drug companies, this is why side effects are clearly laid out for consumers, so they are aware of the risks and cannot hold the company liable if they suffer from those side effects.
Zantac and similar drugs that are revealed to cause serious health issues to represent a breach of that duty of care. The drug manufacturer failed to detect the issue and/or warn the public about it. Those who suffered as a result can hold that manufacturer accountable.
Health Complications Cost Money and Lives
Not only do victims of cancer linked to drugs suffer the obvious health consequences, but they also face steep financial costs. A Zantac or other lawsuit could provide damages to defray those costs, as well as compensate you for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
When a Lawyer Steps In
Product liability can require going up against big companies, who have the money and resources to either deny your claim or reduce your damages. A lawyer acts as the go-between, polishing your case, gathering evidence, and negotiating with the other party.
The goal is not to find explicit, undeniable proof that Zantac or another drug is solely responsible for your condition, but to establish enough of a connection to show that it likely contributed, entitling you to damages. Massive product recalls and scientific studies strengthen your position. Your attorney can do the heavy lifting on your behalf while you focus on your health battle.
Contact Us if a Faulty Drug Caused Your Condition
While the answer to whether Zantac can cause heart attacks is no, it still carries its own health risks, while similar medications can affect your heart. Determining whether your heart attack, cancer, or other medical condition was caused by a drug can be complicated, but with Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, you don’t have to do this on your own. Call us today so we can address your questions about Zantac, NDMA, drugs that cause heart attacks, and drug company liability: