If you were using the popular over-the-counter medication Zantac, you probably heard that the Food and Drug Administration in the USA ordered a recall of all products containing Ranitidine, the generic name for Zantac. If you’re not familiar with the recall, however, and you do have Zantac or similar products on your shelf, you should stop taking them and consult your doctor. The recall was triggered after trace amounts of NDMA were found in Ranitidine products. NDMA has been linked to several types of cancer.
Photo by Anna Shvets
Talk to Your Doctor
Whether your doctor once told you to start taking Zantac for your gastrointestinal issues or you just started self-treating, you should consult your physician to have them recommend a replacement medication. Fortunately, there are products on the market that do not contain Ranitidine that may be effective for your treatment. It’s smart that you have your doctor or pharmacists input on your next move.
Some Alternatives to Zantac
Here are some prescription and non-prescription alternatives to Zantac. Not all medications are equally effective in treating ulcers. They fall into different categories:
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
These drugs work by blocking the secretion of acids into the stomach. They’re highly effective for many patients. These include:
- Nexium or esomeprazole
- Prevacid or lansoprazole
- Prilosec or omeprazole
All three of these drugs are sold over the counter in the USA. It should be noted that this type of Zantac alternative may lead to gastric infections. They can also reduce your body’s ability to absorb magnesium and B12.
H2 Histamine Receptor Antagonists
Ranitidine is an H2 histamine receptor antagonist, but it’s not the only one on the market. The good news is that not every drug in this category has shown signs of NDMA contamination. The two H2 histamine receptor antagonists that the FDA lists as Zantac alternatives are:
- Pepcid or famotidine
- Tagamet or cimetidine
What You Should do if You’ve Been Taking Zantac
The critical thing to do is to consult your doctor and see if you have any of the early warning signs for cancer. If you do find out that there are indications of any of the cancer types that are associated with NDMA consumption, you may also want to contact an attorney who is handling Zantac cases in your area.
When taking any medications, you should consult with a physician, double-check with a pharmacist, and latest, do your research online to fact find the info you been given. Just because something is on that market, doesn’t mean it’s in any way suitable for you.
FAQ About Zantac
Why did the FDA recall Zantac?
Ranitidine/Zantac has been found to have trace amounts of NDMA, a known carcinogen. When stored in room temperatures, the amount of NDMA has increased. Zantac usage has been linked to cancer. Zantac was recalled in the US in early 2020. In September of 2019, Health Canada asked for companies to stop any further distribution of ranitidine medication as a precautionary measure possibly based on the looming FDA recall in the USA.
What should I do with my Zantac?
Although you can return your Zantac for a refund, the FDA is not recommending that due to the current pandemic. (Canada is also not allowing any returns of drug of health products at this time). Do not continue to consume Zantac.
Can my doctor prescribe me Zantac?
At this time, Zantac is not commercially available in the United States, and when we checked locations within Canada also could not find it easily. Your doctor may, however, be able to recommend an effective alternative.
Be safe, do your research and remember, we only get one body, be kind to it!