What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac?
The long-term side effects of Zantac are many. The most common side effects linked to Zantac and other ranitidine heartburn and reflux medications are temporary in nature and generally stop when you discontinue use. They may include:
Rarely, serious side effects and adverse events from the usage of Zantac have been reported, according to drug manufacturer Sanofi. The long-term side effects of Zantac may improve once you discontinue using it. Some may require medical care or become long-term concerns. These include:
- Anemia and other concerns about blood cells
- Liver function and possible liver damage
- Cardiovascular concerns including a heart rate that is too slow, too fast, or irregular
- Meningitis and other brain-related complications
These side effects are in addition to the allegations that these medications may cause cancer. As of February 19, 2020, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation reports that there are 140 cases pending in multidistrict litigation 2924, the Zantac cancer case. This number is expected to increase dramatically over the next few months.
Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac and Other Ranitidine Products
According to the manufacturer of over-the-counter brand name Zantac pills, there have been a number of adverse reactions linked to taking ranitidine, especially in higher doses of the prescription formula. A causal relationship has not been proven in every case, but these reported side effects occurred during clinical trials, post-marketing surveillance, and monitoring of patients taking these medications.
Some of the long-term side effects of Zantac include:
- Blood system disorders: reversible cases of anemia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, and thrombocytopenia, as well as more serious causes of agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, or neutropenia, have been reported. Marrow hypoplasia or marrow aplasia, aplastic anemia, and acquired immune hemolytic anemia may be possible and affect the person long-term.
- Cardiac disorders: arrhythmias may occur, including tachycardia, sinus bradycardia, asystole, and extrasystole. Premature ventricular beats and atrioventricular block with sinus pauses are possible. Some people may also experience heart palpitations and an increase in blood pressure, which generally stops when the medication is discontinued.
- Vision and eye disorders: blurred vision and intraocular pressure changes may be possible, although this is generally reversible when the person stops taking the medication.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: because Zantac reduces the acid in the stomach, it may have other effects on the digestive system, which could include constipation or diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and acute pancreatitis. Some people report rebound hypersecretion, meaning the body produces additional acid after the person discontinues this medication.
- Liver disorders: reversible changes in liver function have been reported, as well as rare reports of hepatitis, jaundice, and cholestatic jaundice. Liver failure has been reported in conjunction with Zantac use, so any related side effects should prompt users to discontinue use immediately. Damage may be permanent in some cases.
- Psychiatric disorders: elderly patients and those with renal impairment need to be especially careful with Zantac. Both groups report an increase in confusion, depressions, agitation, and hallucinations.
- Renal disorders: the kidneys clear Zantac, so anyone with renal failure should be especially careful with this drug. Acute interstitial nephritis is possible, and nephrotoxicity has been reported.
- Reproductive disorders: Zantac may lead to reversible problems related to the reproductive system that includes temporary impotence and loss of libido. Gynecomastia and galactorrhea may be possible and may require additional treatment.
There is no doubt that Zantac is effective at reducing acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. However, many people have also reported side effects. Thankfully, most of these are not serious and do not last once the drug is stopped. Headache, malaise, dizziness, vertigo, and other side effects fade quickly without medical attention. Allergic reactions, however, are also possible. Anaphylactic shock is possible after taking a single dose of ranitidine.
Understanding The Lawsuits Pending Against Zantac
Recalls began on Zantac and generic formulations of the drug in September 2019, after it became known that some of these medications might contain a probable carcinogen known as NDMA. This carcinogen is also at the heart of the Valsartan NDMA multidistrict litigation 2875.
Paperwork that’s part of the multidistrict litigation alleges that Zantac and ranitidine can cause tumors at many sites throughout the body, leading to cancer growth in areas that include:
As of February 2020, there are thousands of lawsuits filed based on the dangers of ranitidine drugs and 140 pending in multidistrict litigation 2924.
Talk to a Zantac Cancer Lawyer About Your Case
If you used Zantac or another ranitidine product and later received a cancer diagnosis, you may want to discuss your case with a member of Zanes Law. We can review your case for free and explain your options for pursuing compensation through the multidistrict litigation or another legal action.
Call Zanes Law now at (866) 499-8989 to get started with your free consultation. Your consultation and sign-up can all take place in one phone call.