Do you suffer from peptic ulcers? If so ,you’re in the company of more than four million people in the United States. Heartburn is another common problem affecting millions of people every day.
What do the two health problems have in common? The medication ranitidine, sold under the brand name Zantac.
Millions of people take Zantac as a treatment for ulcers and heartburn. The Food and Drug Administration ordered Zantac removed from the store shelves in April of 2020.
Does Zantac cause cancer? Keep reading for more information.
What Is N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)?
NDMA is a chemical byproduct of water chlorination as well as some manufacturing processes. NDMA is in the soil, water, and air in small amounts.
There is some evidence that NDMA causes cancer in humans and as such is defined as a group 2A carcinogen.
NDMA is a contaminant, not an ingredient, that’s found in several medications. Ranitidine (Zantac) is one such drug. The contaminating NDMAs form when your body metabolizes ranitidine.
NDMAs were also in the Zantac tablets in alarming concentrations. Find the details about the Zantac lawsuits here.
NDMA in Food and Water
Small amounts of NDMA are in many foods and in water. The NDMA forms during food processing. Some foods that have NDMA are:
- Some vegetables
In very small amounts, NDMA isn’t a problem. In fact, your liver processes the toxin and it’s secreted through your breath or urine. It’s processed through your body within about 24 hours.
Too much NDMA in your system is a problem. Overexposure to NDMA causes health problems such as:
- Enlarged liver
- Reduced liver function
- Reduced kidney function
- Abdominal cramps
NDMA is toxic to the liver and even small amounts can cause liver damage. At one time, NDMA was used for making rocket fuel!
Zantac and Cancer
There are current research studies underway but it’s thought that NDMA-contaminated Zantac may cause certain types of cancers. These include:
Zantac may also cause Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma as well as other types of cancer. One of the problems with Zantac is that the NDMA levels increase over time during the normal storage process.
Another problem with the ranitidine in Zantac is where the product comes from. Some of the drugs are manufactured in China and India where the quality control process isn’t as stringent as in the U.S.
The chances of cancer-causing impurities in the drug are much less when the drug is correctly produced.
Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
Does Zantac cause cancer? When there are NDMA impurities in the drug, it can cause cancer. Scientists are still doing research on NDMAs and the ranitidine in Zantac.
Do you have a recent cancer diagnosis? Did you take Zantac? If so, it’s important to tell your doctor about your Zantac use if she doesn’t already know.
Are you looking for up-to-date health articles and information? We’ll keep you posted on the blog!