Long-Term Use of Zantac or Generic Ranitidine Viewed as Cancer Risk Factor


Being diagnosed with cancer has long been one of the top fears for people all around the world. In response people have made significant lifestyle changes: they’ve taken up exercise, lost weight, given up smoking, and adopted healthier diets. Now that the FDA has indicated a cancer risk from long-term use of Zantac or any of its generic versions, many are now giving up the popular heartburn drug, even if they had been taking it based upon their physician’s recommendations or a prescription.

The risk of Zantac cancer comes from the presence of a chemical called NDMA, or N-nitrosodimethylamine, that both an independent lab and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have identified in unacceptable levels during testing of the product. There have been suggestions that the drug manufacturers have long been aware that ranitidine was vulnerable to NDMA forming as the product has been stored or exposed to high heat, and many are now filing lawsuits against manufacturers of the drug, accusing them of knowing that the product was putting consumers at risk and yet failing to take action to protect or warn the public.

Zantac Cancer Fears Result in Stores Removing Product from Consumer Access

Before the Zantac cancer link was publicized, both the brand name and generic versions of the product were widely available in over-the-counter and prescription forms, but that is no longer the case. The most popular drug retailers across the country, including Walmart, Walgreens and CVS have all removed the products from their shelves, and the same has been true of manufacturers like Northwin Pharmaceuticals and Appco Pharma LLC.

Though it is not uncommon to find NDMA in many of the foods and medications that we ingest on a regular basis, those are usually at much lower levels than what has been found in ranitidine products and has raised the issue of a Zantac cancer link. The levels found by both the FDA and the independent lab far exceed the levels that the FDA finds acceptable, and that is why the agency released a warning statement and suggested that patients switch to other medications that do not contain ranitidine.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.