Posted on March 12th, 2020
The FDA has issued a series of recalls of some over-the-counter medication over the last six months, all linked to concerns that they may be linked to an increased risk of cancer. Laboratory testing of the samples of ranitidine - a heartburn medication used by millions of Americans, found the carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine.
Recent testing of samples of Zantac and other ranitidine-based heartburn drugs revealed unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDMA) - a semi-volatile organic chemical known as a potent carcinogen. In the past, NDMA was used as an ingredient in rocket fuel, as a solvent, and pesticide, but this use was stopped when it was discovered to contaminate air, soil, and public drinking water. Exposure to NDMA in ranitidine has been linked to a number of cancers including prostate cancer.
If you have taken the popular acid-reducing medication Zantac to help with a variety of issues, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, then you may be aware of an ongoing voluntary recall for the product. The pharmacy chains have stopped selling the heartburn medicine Zantac and its generic versions after the Food and Drug Administration confirmed contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine.
When Zantac and ranitidine are being processed by the body, the compound has been shown to produce potentially unsafe levels of NDMA. Regardless of the debate around safe levels of exposure, NDMA is listed as a probable carcinogen, meaning that it is shown to increase the risk of certain cancers in humans, including prostate cancer.
When laboratory researchers want to study cancer in experimental animals, the toxin of choice to induce tumors in experimental animals is often N-Nitrosodimethylamine. A single dose of Zantac has been shown to break down inside the body into over three million nanograms of NDMA. This is over 30, 000 times higher than the threshold level of 0.096 micrograms per day. A growing number of Zantac legal claims for financial compensation are being filed nationwide over side effects of the recalled heartburn drug, all involving similar allegations that the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Zantac, breaks down into NDMA inside the body of users, thereby increasing the risk of cancer.
A more recent complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by a plaintiff who claims his use of the recalled heartburn drug over the course of eight years caused him to develop prostate cancer.
As one of the millions of Americans who took the prescription or over-the-counter version of a drug, you expect this medication to help you, not harm you. Yet, there are many medications currently on the market that have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and may be connected to one's recent cancer diagnosis.
Prostate cancer forms when the DNA in cells in the prostate - an exocrine gland of the male reproductive system, develops mutations that may disable the ability to control cell growth and division.
Although changes in prostate cancer screening practices have led to recent declines in overall incidence, prostate cancer is still the most common cancer after skin cancer in men in the U.S.
In rare cases, men with prostate cancer may experience certain symptoms such as:
When it's diagnosed during the earliest stages, prostate cancer it's likely to be curable. Experiencing misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can have a significant impact on how cancer spreads and develops. Therefore, a routine annual screening test may help you detect prostate cancer at an early stage.
People who regularly use Zantac or other forms of ranitidine to relieve digestion problems should contact their physician if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking this drug product.