If you or someone you love has taken Zantac—or its generic form, ranitidine—you may be at risk of developing various cancers and other serious health conditions. This is because higher than acceptable amounts of the known carcinogen NDMA were found in the drug, which was then recalled by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Given this development, you may want to take the following steps to protect your health and your rights. Here is what to do if you used to take Zantac.
Protect Your Health
If you were or still are taking Zantac, there are several things you can do to protect your health going forward and get the care you need.
Stop Taking Zantac Immediately
First, stop taking Zantac or any other ranitidine product. The levels of NDMA that have been found in Zantac are far greater than the daily allowable amount, so consuming even one more dose of the medication could be a risk that is not worth taking.
Dispose of Your Zantac
The FDA provides specific instructions for safely disposing of your unwanted medications. The best way is to drop off the medicine at a drug disposal location, whether it be a take-back event or a permanent collection site.
If this is not possible, you still have options. Zantac and ranitidine are not on the FDA flush list, so you will need to follow the FDA’s steps for discarding the medicine in your trash at home.
Speak with Your Doctor
Once you have stopped taking Zantac, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Discuss everything with them, including your history of ranitidine use, any symptoms you have experienced, and your past medical history.
With this information, your doctor can evaluate you for diseases related to NDMA exposure. They may recommend specialists or tests to check for various types of cancers and other serious conditions.
Some of the medical conditions that can be caused by exposure to NDMA include:
- Stomach cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- And potentially many others
Look into Alternatives
In addition to screening you for NDMA-related conditions, your doctor can also give you advice on other ways to manage your stomach acid now that ranitidine is off the market. This will likely include both medical alternatives and lifestyle changes.
There are other medications that are still FDA-approved and have not been found to contain unsafe levels of NDMA. This includes both H-2 blockers (the same class of drug as Zantac, but without the NDMA) and PPIs (proton pump inhibitors, which are a stronger alternative to H-2 blockers).
You may also want to try lifestyle and habit changes to address your stomach acid. It has been shown that changes in your diet can lower your risk of heartburn, acid reflux, and other issues. Try limiting your consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy or fatty foods. Eat slowly, and refrain from exercising or lying down right after you eat. Either of these activities can bring stomach acid up into your esophagus.
Together with your doctor, you should be able to come up with a healthcare plan to address all your concerns after you stop taking Zantac.
Protect Your Rights
While your doctor can help protect your health after taking Zantac, a lawyer can help you protect your rights. With the help of a Zantac lawsuit lawyer, you may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to your illness.
Learn Your Options for Pursuing Compensation
If you developed cancer or another serious health condition after taking Zantac or ranitidine, you may be able to pursue compensation from the negligent drug companies who put this unsafe medication on the market. A Zantac lawsuit lawyer can advise you of your options and recommend your next steps.
Contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today to learn more about your right to pursue compensation and what you should do if you used to take Zantac. Currently, there are Zantac class-action lawsuits in Florida that you may be able to join. It is our goal to fight for your rights with honest, personal representation. Call us today at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation with a member of our team.