If you’ve been taking Zantac for a long time, it’s important to be aware of this medication’s potential long-term side effects. While Zantac is a common treatment for heartburn and other acid-related digestive issues, it can have significant adverse effects if taken over an extended period of time. But what are the long-term side effects of Zantac, actually?
Have you noticed a change in your health after taking Zantac long-term? If so, don’t hesitate to contact a Zanes Law Zantac cancer lawsuit lawyer now for help.
Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac
The long-term potential side effects of Zantac are many. The most common side effects linked to Zantac and other ranitidine heartburn and reflux medications are temporary and generally stop when you discontinue use. They may include:
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain/abdominal cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Stomach pain
Rarely, serious side and adverse effects from using Zantac have been reported, according to drug manufacturer Sanofi. Once the use of the heartburn medication is discontinued, the long-term effects of Zantac may improve. Some may require medical care or become long-term concerns. These include:
- Liver damage/liver disease
- Heart problems
- Meningitis and other brain-related complications
- Risk of cancer
Other Medical Conditions That May Be Linked to 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 long-term use of 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.
More medical conditions that may be linked to Zantac include the following:
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.
Arrhythmias may occur, including tachycardia, sinus bradycardia, asystole, and extrasystole. Premature ventricular beats and atrioventricular blocks 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 (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
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 hyper-secretion, meaning the body produces additional acid after the person discontinues this medication.
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.
Elderly patients and those with renal impairment or those with kidney disease need to be especially careful with Zantac. Both groups report an increase in confusion, depression, agitation, and hallucinations.
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.
Zantac has been linked to temporary impotence and libido loss, both of which are treatable side effects. Other reproductive side effects include gynecomastia and galactorrhea.
Zantac can be particularly useful in treating the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. However, many have also reported adverse side effects after taking ranitidine products. 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 or anaphylactic reactions, however, are also possible.
Understanding the Lawsuits Against Zantac
Possible links between Zantac and certain types of cancer have been raised by health authorities worldwide. Although there is still no consensus on whether there is indeed a link between the two, Zantac litigation marches on in the form of individual product liability claims.
In September 2019, it was discovered that some brand name and generic versions of the pill might contain a possible carcinogen called NDMA, prompting widespread Zantac recalls.
Paperwork that’s part of the multi-district litigation alleges that ranitidine can cause tumors at many sites throughout the body, leading to several types of cancers, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Colorectal cancer
There are thousands of lawsuits filed based on the dangers of the long-term side effects of ranitidine drugs. Makers of a generic version of Zantac have already settled one claim for $500,000. Though recent developments have brought multi-district litigation to a halt, many individual personal injury and product liability lawsuits are going forward.
If you’ve experienced any of these conditions after taking Zantac or a generic version, our team is here to help you gain financial compensation.
Manufacturers Were Aware of Carcinogens in the Medication
The FDA approved the prescription and over-the-counter versions of Zantac and generic ranitidine in 1983, and since then, millions of consumers have been using it to treat and prevent heartburn, GERD, and stomach ulcers. No warnings were given about the potential cancer risks that came with this medication.
The manufacturers of Zantac as well as the FDA were aware of possible long-term side effects of ranitidine but didn’t make any mention of there being a risk regarding cancer. It was discovered recently that ranitidine is inherently unstable and can be converted into NDMA, a probable carcinogen, once entering your body.
This dangerous conversion was not made known to consumers or those taking ranitidine for their heartburn relief before now. This means that many people unknowingly put themselves at risk for possibly developing cancers without their knowledge or consent.
Talk to a Zantac Cancer Lawyer About Your Case
While Zantac may provide temporary relief from acid reflux and heartburn, its long-term use may have harmful consequences. Zantac’s potential to cause cancer and other health problems should not be taken lightly. Patients who have been using Zantac for extended periods should be aware of the risks and talk to their healthcare provider about alternatives.
Always be aware of the potential long-term effects of medications, and don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns. If you’ve been negatively impacted by Zantac, a Zanes Law product liability attorney is here to help. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.