woman experiencing Zantac® side effects

What Are the Side Effects of Zantac®?

Find out more about the common side effects of Zantac® and the drug's recent link to cancer concerns.

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Zantac® (ranitidine) is a popular heartburn drug that was introduced to the market in the 1980s and has since been taken by millions of Americans every year in prescription and over-the-counter versions.

A longtime household drug name, most Zantac® users experienced only mild side effects from taking the drug. However, recent studies have discovered unsafe levels of a known cancer-causing substance called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, in ranitidine, which is the main ingredient in Zantac®.

As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered in April of 2020 that all ranitidine medications, including Zantac®, be removed from the market immediately in order to protect the public.

Zantac® will no longer be available for prescription or over-the-counter use in the U.S. and the FDA has stated that anyone currently taking a ranitidine medication should stop, consult their doctor, and safely dispose of any unused products they have at home.

Litigation Details

Now, allegations have been made that the makers of Zantac® knew about the potential cancer risk and failed to warn consumers. Find out more about the current litigation and whether you qualify for a lawsuit.

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Mild Side Effects of Zantac®

Before the recent recall, Zantac® side effects were reported to be mild and temporary. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of Zantac® included:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

In clinical trials, the instances of these mild side effects were roughly the same for those who took the drug and those who took a placebo. A study of over 26,000 patients found these common side effects to be well-tolerated by the vast majority of users, with few reports of adverse events.

Other Serious Zantac® Side Effects

While the most common side effects of Zantac® were mild, the drug’s insert stated that other more serious side effects could occur on rare occasions, including:

  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Excessive bleeding and bruising
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blistering
  • Skin rashes
  • Peeling
  • Vision issues
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Coughing with excessive mucus

If you have suffered any of these serious side effects after taking Zantac®, please stop taking the drug and contact your doctor immediately.

Zantac®’s Link to the Most Serious Side Effect: Cancer

After initial studies, researchers commended ranitidine – Zantac®’s primary ingredient – for its “excellent safety profile.” Zantac® was trusted by millions of patients and healthcare professionals, being prescribed up to 15 million times every year.

The drug quickly rose to be one of the best-selling pharmaceutical drugs ever and was widely regarded as a safe and effective heartburn medication that carried a low risk of experiencing any of the side effects mentioned above. That is until the summer of 2019 when independent lab results from the pharmacy company Valisure discovered the presence of the known human carcinogen, NDMA, in brand name and generic Zantac®. Valisure reported to the FDA that it had found NDMA levels as high as 3,267,968 ng per tablet. The daily intake limit that has been determined to be safe by the FDA is 96 ng.

The FDA has since been conducting ongoing investigations and confirmed that ranitidine can convert into NDMA especially when stored in higher temperatures, but also under normal storage conditions during distribution and in consumer homes.

In light of the NDMA contamination, the millions of Americans who have taken Zantac® regularly all these years are believed to have a higher risk of developing cancer. Prostate, pancreatic, esophageal, stomach, breast, liver, bladder, colorectal, intestinal, kidney, and lung cancer have all been reported as a result of taking Zantac®.

What Can You Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Cancer After Taking Zantac®?

One of the biggest questions now surrounding Zantac® is whether ranitidine drugmakers knew, or should have known, about the increased risk of cancer associated with their products and chose to do nothing to protect consumers.

While these companies did warn the public about the mild and rare side effects they could possibly experience, they never mentioned Zantac®’s most life-threatening side effect: cancer.

Sanofi and other ranitidine manufacturers are now facing lawsuits from individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer after regularly taking Zantac®. If you’re in this devastating situation, you have legal rights and may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses.

The Wolf Pack at Phillip S. Georges, PLLC is helping people across the country take legal action against ranitidine manufacturers. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with any form of cancer after taking Zantac®, contact us today by calling 800-484-9653 or by filling out our online form. Our Zantac® lawyers are ready to discuss your legal rights and help you fight for the justice you deserve.