Zantac (ranitidine) is a histamine- (H2) inhibitor that lowers acid levels in the stomach and gastrointestinal system. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in 1983 to treat heartburn, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), and ulcers. Over-the-counter options became available in 2004, making Zantac one of the most popular acid reducers on the market.
Unfortunately, some users say the drug causes side effects, including heart complications. If you had heart symptoms while taking Zantac, you could seek compensation for the difficulties you experienced. A dangerous drugs lawyer at Loncar Lyon Jenkins can evaluate your claim and advise of your legal options. We can talk with you about your potential case during a free consultation today.
Zantac Can Cause Short-Term Heart Complications
The product monograph for Zantac relays that users have reported certain adverse reactions. Patients typically experienced cardiac symptoms after taking higher prescription doses of the drug, but a solid causal relationship was not established.
Cardiac symptoms patients reported include:
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Premature ventricular beats
- Asystole (cardiac arrest, also known as flatline)
- Extrasystole (“heart hiccups” or skipped heartbeats)
- Atrioventricular block with sinus pauses
- Sinus bradycardia (slower-than-normal heart rhythm)
- State of shock
- Increased blood pressure
The above cardiac conditions tend to be temporary and resolve quickly when patients discontinue use. If you experience cardiovascular symptoms while taking Zantac or another GERD medication, talk with your doctor to seek the proper treatment. They can also adjust your medication.
It is important to note that Zantac is not the only H2 blocker or even the only acid-reducing medication that can cause adverse heart complications. It is unclear whether any of these complications can cause long-term health issues. Although Zantac has been removed from the market because of other issues, the cardiac concerns Zantac users raised are similar to those for other GERD medications. It is, therefore, important to understand these heart complications and how they can affect your long-term health.
Other Heartburn Medications Can Also Affect Your Heart
In 2020, the FDA pulled all ranitidine and Zantac products due to separate concerns over a cancer-causing agent. Several Zantac alternatives can help individuals with GERD and other acid-related gastrointestinal disorders. These include other H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
H2 blockers block certain histamine receptors to reduce the acid production in the stomach. Common H2 blockers include famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), and nizatidine (Axid). Although slightly different from Zantac, these drugs operate on the same principle and can cause many of the same side effects.
PPIs block acid production altogether by preventing the proton pumps in the parietal cells from secreting acid. Common PPIs include omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and esomeprazole (Nexium). A recent Stanford University study found that prescription-level PPIs may raise heart attack risks in adults by about 20%. The same study indicates no increased heart attack risk for patients who took H2 blockers.
Zantac Has Other Serious Side Effects
Although your risk of a heart attack is lower with Zantac, the drug has serious side effects, including high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a potentially cancer-causing chemical. NDMA exposure can cause liver damage and cancerous tumors in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, lungs, and kidneys.
In January 2020, a study Emery Pharma published showed that Zantac produced dangerously high amounts of NDMA when exposed to heat. The drug would break down into NDMA even when exposed to only slightly elevated temperatures, such as those in a shipping truck or hot car.
These results were supported by a 2021 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The analysis showed that Zantac would break down and produce even higher NDMA levels when exposed to acid and heat conditions, such as those present in the human GI tract.
Since the detection of NDMA in Zantac occurred, thousands of individuals have filed lawsuits against Pfizer and other manufacturers and distributors of the drug. If you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis after taking Zantac for more than one year, you could seek compensation for your losses.
Filing a Lawsuit for Zantac-Related Injuries
If you or a loved one suffers ill effects because of Zantac use, you can discuss your claim with a Loncar Lyon Jenkins attorney who handles defective drug cases. Our drug litigation attorneys can help you establish evidence to prove:
- That you used Zantac or ranitidine for a long period
- That you have or previously had cancer
Such evidence may include medical records, prescriptions, medical bills, doctor’s notes, and expert testimony. In addition, our legal team can compile published studies and research to prove that the NDMA in Zantac directly caused your side effects involving heart complications or other complications.
Damages You Can Claim in Your Zantac Side Effects Injury Lawsuit
At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we aim to hold drug companies accountable for their negligent or harmful actions. One way we do this is by helping our clients obtain fair compensation for the losses they suffered at the hands of negligent drug manufacturers and distributors.
Damages we could seek on your behalf include:
- Cancer treatments, including surgery, chemo, and rehabilitation
- Medical expenses
- Physical and psychological therapy
- Medical equipment, assistive devices, and medication
- Reduced income potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
No matter how complicated your case or how large the company is, we will vigorously seek fair compensation on your behalf. We can seek damages from an insurance company or file a lawsuit on your behalf if we cannot settle your case out of court.
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins About Your Zantac Heart Side Effects Injury Case
If you have suffered injury or illness due to Zantac side effects that caused heart complications or other problems, Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help. Our dangerous drug attorneys will listen to your story and help you determine if recovering damages with an insurance claim or lawsuit for your losses is the right move for you.
We can discuss your potential case with you for free. Also, if we represent you in your case, we will handle it on a contingency basis. You won’t have to worry about paying fees or costs unless we recover financial compensation for you. Call us today to discuss your legal options.