What Kind of Cancer Can Zantac Cause?

Zantac is the most popular brand name for the active chemical ranitidine. Ranitidine has been shown to be contaminated with a compound that is often a carcinogen. This carcinogen, a substance that is known to cause cancer, is N-Nitrosodimethylamine, and it can cause stomach, liver, and bladder cancer. Read on for more details and what to do if you were exposed to Zantac.

The Problem with Zantac

Zantac’s main problem is the contamination of its main active ingredient, ranitidine. Ranitidine was used to treat peptic ulcers and reduce the risk of ulcers reappearing after treatment. Zantac is just one of the names for ranitidine products. Check your medicine cabinet for any trace of ranitidine because it is all considered contaminated.


The contaminant that corrupted ranitidine is the compound N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a known carcinogen. This was discovered in September of 2019, which led to a later ban of ranitidine by the FDA.

Originally, the NDMA was thought to be the result of poor storage. However, after more digging, lab techs found NDMA in small amounts in even ranitidine handled perfectly. At this point, it seems like NDMA is a natural development of ranitidine.

NDMA is not just carcinogenic; it is also hepatoxic. Hepatoxicity is the quality that causes problems or failure in the liver. Since Zantac may cause both liver cancer and liver failure, it is essential to drink plenty of water and avoid other toxins like alcohol if you suspect a problem. Liver failure rapidly deteriorates the body.

What to Do If You Took Zantac

The severe consequences of taking NDMA have left many people with life-threatening conditions and piles of medical bills. Many legal professionals have engaged in a Zantac case or two for clients. If you or a loved one have taken Zantac or another ranitidine-based medication, a doctor should be your first visit and a lawyer the second.

FDA Removal of Zantac

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an official statement about ranitidine products on April 1, 2020. The FDA requested that all ranitidine products be immediately withdrawn from the American market. The FDA has also since functionally banned ranitidine from being used in new products in the US.

The FDA cited the presence of NDMA that seemed linked to improper storage. Researchers have continued to try and determine the source of the NDMA since then. Even more concerning than new, properly stored ranitidine is the high levels of NDMA in older samples of Zantac. The FDA recommends safely discarding any medications that contain ranitidine.

Types of Cancer Zantac May Cause

Zantac, through the contaminant N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), is known to cause at least three types of cancer. These are bladder, stomach, and liver cancer. Here are some of the early warning signs of each type.

Some signs that are almost universal among forms of cancer include loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss. Nausea and fatigue can also be early signs of serious medical conditions.

Bladder Cancer

Unexplained changes in bladder habits can be an early warning sign of bladder cancer. Pain in your lower back on one side and being unable to urinate are symptoms of a more advanced threat. Check with a medical professional also if you have pain during urination for more than a few days.

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is signaled by many common symptoms that are shared by other stomach problems, so do not be alarmed until you seek a professional opinion. Vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and pain in the abdomen are all indicators that something is wrong.

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer has fewer obvious signs than other types of cancer. Generally, liver cancer will cause weakness and fatigue, and appetite loss. A good rule of thumb is that any sign of jaundice means something is amiss in the liver. Jaundice is demonstrated through a yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of your eyes.

Next Steps

Early detection saves lives; seek medical help if you suspect anything is wrong. And if you or a family member has had one of these types of cancer and took Zantac, seek legal help.

About the Author

What Kind of Cancer Can Zantac Cause?Samantha Alvord is a legal expert and a passionate writer who works tirelessly to inform people about the field of personal injury, her area of specialty. She has a talent for making complex legal concepts accessible to the public. It is Samantha’s goal to present a clear and structured piece to the reader, which can easily be used as a guide to solving legal matters.

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