What is Ranitidine?
Ranitidine is sold under the brand name Zantac. As a generic drug, ranitidine is made by a variety of drug companies to decrease production of stomach acid. Ranitidine is most commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. The medication is included in a class of drugs called histamine-2 receptor blockers (also known as H2 blockers).
Ranitidine works by inhibiting histamine action at the histamine H2 receptors in the gastric parietal cells. Patients most commonly take ranitidine by mouth, in tablet, capsule, or liquid form, before their first meal and/or last meal of the day. The medication is available without a prescription as an over-the-counter treatment.
IMPORTANT RANITIDINE UPDATE: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release on April 1, 2020 requesting manufacturers to immediately withdraw all Zantac and generic Zantac OTC drugs from the market. The FDA has found that N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in some ranitidine drugs “increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels…” The FDA, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classify NDMA as a cancer-causing substance.
GlaxoSmithKline (at the time, Glaxo Group Research) first introduced ranitidine on the market as Zantac in 1981. By 1987 it was the world’s best-selling prescription drug. Zantac ownership has changed hands several times over the past 38 years since GSK first brought it to market. Companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer have also manufactured the drug. Ranitidine is now made by Sanofi and sold in a variety of forms, with trade names that include Zantac, Zantac 75, Zantac Efferdose, Zantac injection, and Zantac Syrup.
What is Ranitidine Used For?
- Gastric ulcers
- Duodenal ulcers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Erosive esophagitis
- Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
- Stress-induced ulcers
- Postoperative ulcers
- Ulceration (when combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Prescription ranitidine is also available as a syrup for infants whose lower esophageal sphincter is not fully developed. In such cases, stomach acid can flow into the infant’s esophagus, causing acid reflux, sores, and ulcers. Ranitidine for infants is used to prevent:
- Stomach ulcers
- Esophageal ulcers
- Duodenum ulcers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Erosive esophagitis
Infants and children should not be given over-the-counter Zantac (Zantac OTC).
Ranitidine Zantac Precautions
Ranitidine can enter the breast milk and be ingested by a feeding infant. Health care professionals are advised to exercise caution when prescribing Zantac to women who are breastfeeding.
Medications that decrease stomach acid production have been linked to an increased risk of acute gastroenteritis and community-acquired pneumonia in children.
Use of ranitidine may potentially mask stomach cancer. Furthermore, patients who have kidney or liver impairment should exercise caution when using ranitidine.
Ranitidine Zantac Side Effects
Ranitidine Side Effects in Adults
- Blurred vision
- Unusual bleeding/bruising
- Extreme fatigue
- Atrioventricular block
- Premature ventricular beats
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Infectious diarrhea
- Cholestatic hepatitis
- Liver failure
Ranitidine Side Effects in Severely Ill, Elderly Patients
- Mental confusion
Ranitidine Side Effects in Children
Does Ranitidine Cause Cancer?
Since the FDA approved Zantac in the 1980s, numerous studies have shown a link between ranitidine and cancer. One study published in the journal Chemosphere in 2017 showed that ranitidine forms N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) when placed in drinking water.
NDMA is a semi volatile organic chemical that belongs to a family of chemicals known as N-nitrosamines. According to the EPA, N-nitrosamines are part of “a family of potent carcinogens.”
An earlier study published in the journal Carcinogenesis showed that a person who consumes ranitidine has a 400-fold increase of NDMA concentration in their urine. Also noteworthy, researchers in the study found that NDMA excretion rates after ranitidine intake equaled or exceeded those observed in patients with schistosomiasis, a disease in which N-nitrosamines are implicated as the cause of bladder cancer.
In 2004, researchers from the National Cancer Institute found a link between ranitidine and bladder cancer. The study noted that “N-Nitrosamines are known carcinogens, and nitrate ingestion has been related to bladder cancer risk.”
California Ranitidine Cancer Attorneys
The Zantac cancer attorneys at Wisner Baum have extensive experience aggressively fighting against pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and market unsafe drugs. We are using our formidable resources and in-depth experience to investigate ranitidine cancer claims and possible ranitidine lawsuits.
The judge overseeing the federal Zantac multi-district litigation (MDL) appointed Wisner Baum attorney R. Brent Wisner to the Practices and Procedures team to help establish the protocols and methodology for litigating the tens of thousands of cases to be filed in the months and years to come.
Brent also serves as Co-Chair of the Zantac Litigation Group for American Association for Justice and has been invited to deliver numerous Zantac presentations at prestigious national lawyer conferences across the nation.
We are accepting generic Zantac (ranitidine) cancer cases in every state, including California. Our cancer attorneys have handled many cancer cases in California and across the US, including the three cases against a major corporation that resulted in record-breaking verdicts for our clients. Among those are a $2.055 billion verdict and a $289.2 million verdict for the plaintiffs.
Among our highly skilled and extensively knowledgeable cancer attorneys:
- Michael Baum is the senior managing shareholder of Wisner Baum and has successfully represented countless clients injured by pharmaceutical drugs. He has been involved in numerous groundbreaking verdicts, including lawsuits filed against GSK for its Paxil drug and Monsanto (now Bayer) regarding Roundup. Two of the largest verdicts resulted in a San Francisco, California jury unanimously awarding the plaintiff $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages and an Oakland, California jury rendered a $2 billion verdict for a couple who developed cancer after using Roundup.
- R. Brent Wisnerobtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, before attending law school at the Georgetown University Law Center. Recognized as a top trial attorney, Brent has handed numerous complex medical cases, including Monsanto Roundup Cancer claims, for which he was co-lead counsel on two of three lawsuits to go to trial, and other pharmaceutical and medical device claims. Brent was part of the Monsanto litigation teams that obtained more than $2 billion for the plaintiffs and $289 million for another plaintiff with cancer.
- Bijan Esfandiariattended the University of California School of Law in Los Angeles. Since beginning his law career, he has played a key role in pharmaceutical litigation, fighting for clients who have been harmed by drug companies and medical device makers. Bijan has successfully argued wrongful death and personal injury cases in state and federal courts across the United States.
- Pedram Esfandiary was a vital part of the legal teams that obtained a $2 billion verdict and a $289 million verdict in Monsanto Roundup Cancer lawsuits. Pedram studied law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in Los Angeles.
- Adam Foster is a Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” a National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40” attorney, and a Best Lawyers “One to Watch.” He works on the firm’s class actions and mass torts involving pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and product liability.
- Helen Tokar is a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and a Best Lawyers “One to Watch.” Helen has nearly a decade of experience handling complex and multidistrict litigation, toxic torts, consumer fraud, and pharmaceutical drug product liability.
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