If you have been taking it to treat acid reflux or a similar condition, you should talk to your doctor about whether you have to wean off Zantac. They can provide more information specific to your health condition and what alternative medications you can take.
If you or a loved one developed cancer or another health complication as a result of taking Zantac, a personal injury lawyer from our team may be able to represent you in a claim or lawsuit for compensation.
Is it Possible to Quit Zantac Cold Turkey?
Quitting the use of any drug abruptly always comes with risks. Even with a seemingly simple drug, such as Zantac, the body adapts and alters its chemistry over time. A sudden change could lead to histamine imbalances from the rapid reduction in H2 chemicals present in Zantac.
According to an article published by the Harvard Medical School, immediate discontinuation of any PPI or H2 medication should only occur if the underlying reasons for taking the drug were relatively mild. The article lists chronic heartburn and GERD as common examples.
Even so, it is best to consult with your primary care doctor or gastroenterologist before doing so. They may suggest replacement medications that do not have the possibility of causing cancer, as with Zantac.
When Is a Weaning Regimen for Zantac Users Necessary?
As tempting as it can be to quit taking a dangerous substance such as Zantac immediately, the consequences of this action may be serious. This is especially true for patients using Zantac to control underlying conditions. For example, a doctor may prescribe Zantac or another form of ranitidine to:
- Reduce the chances of developing stomach ulcers
- Work in tandem with anti-inflammatory drugs for heart protection
In addition, a sudden stop of H2 blocker use can be dangerous if a patient is also taking daily aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs for arthritis). For these reasons, it is always essential to talk with a doctor to learn if you must wean off Zantac rather than immediately halting its use.
Is It Essential to Quit Taking Zantac as Soon as Possible?
You should consider stopping Zantac as soon as possible. In a safety notice from September 13, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that ranitidine medications like Zantac contain chemical impurities.
Specifically, the FDA found dangerous amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). This substance acts as a carcinogen, which means that ingesting it can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Studies have linked increases in the rates of stomach, liver, and bladder cancers to NDMA. Animals exposed to this cancer-causing substance have experienced tumor growth. Other potential adverse effects of NDMA-contaminated Zantac include:
- A reduction in kidney, lung, or liver function
- Enlarged liver
- Dizziness, headaches, or fever
We encourage all consumers currently taking Zantac to contact their doctors immediately to plan for a new course of treatment. Those who formerly took this dangerous drug may also want to consult a medical professional to determine their current risk of cancer.
Hire a Lawyer to Help You Pursue Compensation
Regardless of why your doctor started you on Zantac, it is best to make plans to stop. If you took the medication to control heartburn or GERD, it may be possible to do so immediately. However, people with more serious underlying conditions, or those who take Zantac in tandem with other drugs, may require a weaning period.
The decision regarding how and when to stop using this drug is for you and your doctor to make. However, an attorney from our firm could help if you received a cancer diagnosis or are suffering other adverse effects and are looking to take legal action against the makers of Zantac.
The team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers is prepared to answer your legal questions concerning the use of Zantac. Give us a call at (855) 529-0269 to learn more about the dangers associated with this drug and to explore your legal rights during a free consultation.