Posted on April 07th, 2020
Users of Zantac may have been exposed to unsafe levels of NDMA over extended periods of time. New studies show that NDMA intoxication decreased the production of gonadotropins, thus may impair the endocrine regulation of spermatogenesis and consequently affect the reproductive function of the testes.
As anticipated, recall of the popular heartburn medication ranitidine, known by the brand name Zantac has expanded. On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested manufacturers to pull all prescriptions and over-the-counter heartburn medications that contain ranitidine from the market immediately after determining that a contamination issue poses a greater risk than previously thought.
Patients who are taking prescription ranitidine should discuss alternatives with their health care provider, the agency advised. FDA suggests consumers dispose of any ranitidine products at home rather than bringing them to drug take-back locations, as such errands should be avoided to reduce people's risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) the highly toxic chemical in Zantac (ranitidine) is a semi-volatile organic compound that belongs to a family of chemicals known as N-nitrosamines. Based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals, N-Nitrosamines have been classified as reasonably anticipated to be carcinogenic.
There is a 96 ng permissible daily intake limit of NDMA. However, recent testing of Zantac found that the heartburn medication contains 26,000 times the daily intake limit of NDMA in a Zantac 150 mg tablet, the dosage countless people take every day. In screening commonly used pharmaceuticals for possible carcinogenic effects, scientists noted that overuse of certain medications was associated with increased risk of developing testicular cancer. More research is needed before the mechanisms behind this association can be fully understood.
Several studies support three important points underlying the danger posed by Zantac:
The testicular cancer risk associated with Zantac results from the fact that the drug contains the highly toxic semi-volatile chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine used for laboratory research to induce tumors in experimental animals. In a study conducted on male rats, a one-time dose of 30 or 60 mg N-nitrosodimethylamine/kg body weight induced testicular damage. Given the current information, it is possible that long-term users of Zantac or generic ranitidine could be at significant risk of developing testicular cancer from cumulative NDMA exposure. Some medications can adversely affect male fertility by injuring testicular germ cells or disturbing hormonal levels leading to decreased semen quality.
While this new information about the Zantac cancer risk is being closely reviewed and analyzed, Environmental Litigation Group is evaluating whether financial compensation may be available for individuals who may have developed several types of cancer associated with exposure to NDMA through contaminated ranitidine products, including testicular cancer.
The male reproductive system may also be a target for drug toxicity and their impact on the reproductive function becomes nowadays an essential aspect of research especially in testicular cancer patients.
Testicular toxicity accounts for about 50% of infertility cases in men and toxicity screening aims to identify cell toxicity and the underlying causes, in order to establish the better dose range under which certain medicine can be devoid of adverse side-effects.
Testicular cancer patients may experience a combination of the following symptoms:
However, many of these symptoms can be caused by non-cancerous conditions, such as testicle injury or inflammation. When testicular cancer is misdiagnosed as a less serious condition or treatment delayed, the patient's situation and prognosis can grow significantly worse.
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms or have performed a self-examination and found lumps in the testicles, it would be best to consult your primary care physician. Your doctor may order a series of tests such as blood tests and one or more imaging tests to determine the presence of testicular cancer. Prompt diagnosis and early treatment are critical for a favorite outcome.
If you are currently taking Zantac, be sure to talk with your health care team about the potential risks and alternative medication options.