Can You Get Cancer From Zantac

When the Zantac lawsuit first came into being, the world was shaken. That’s because Zantac, along with its generic name, ranitidine, has been a widely-used medication. Many individuals may have, one way or another, been prescribed that medicine. Others, on the one hand, have to take Zantac regularly. While Zantac can cure GERD and heartburn, it has been alleged to contain impurities in its ingredients that can lead to cancer.

But, does Zantac really cause cancer?  If so, what types of cancer does it create?  This article gives you the truth.

Yes, Zantac Does Cause Cancer

This fact is precisely why Zantac and other branded medications with the generic name ranitidine have been recalled. Even more importantly, this is how the Zantac lawsuit also started to arise. After thorough investigation, the Food and Drug Administration detected the cancer-causing chemical known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). This chemical has affected patients who have frequently used ranitidine for their heartburn, ulcer, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Learn More About NDMA

Now that you know the reason behind Zantac’s potential to cause cancer, it’s time to dig deeper. What is NDMA and what makes it cancerous?

NDMA falls under the B2 carcinogen classification. This means that it’s a probable human carcinogen. When taken in by an individual even in small amounts, this can be toxic to the human liver. The health risks associated with NDMA are what sparked the worldwide recall of ranitidine.

Here Are The Types Of Cancer Caused By Zantac

In large quantities, NDMA found in ranitidine or Zantac can cause cancer.

Here are the types of cancer linked to the use of the said medication:

  1. Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is also known as colon, rectal, or bowel cancer. This type of cancer affects the colon and the rectum. Luckily, however, colorectal cancer is one of the easiest types of cancer to treat, thanks to a higher probability of early detection through better technology.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Unexplained iron deficiency in males
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Lump in the abdomen or back passage
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss

     2. Liver Cancer

The liver is one of the most vital organs in the body. This is what filters the blood that circulates throughout the body. It also performs other functions, such as filtering toxins and other chemical waste products from the blood.

When a person is diagnosed with liver cancer, this can be a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. Common signs of liver cancer include:

  • White, chalky stool
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Yellow discoloration of skin and eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain

   3. Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is one of the lesser-known cancers, but it’s also just as dangerous. In fact, it’s even classified as fatal cancer, simply because it affects a crucial part of your body. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to cure. Stomach cancer starts to arise when cancer cells form in the inner lining of your stomach. When this turns into tumors, it can slowly progress into cancer.

Early on, stomach cancer can be identified by precursor situations, such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Blood in stool

   4. Kidney Cancer

Like the liver, when the kidneys of an individual fail, it can mean a potentially life-threatening condition. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. In most instances, however, tumors in the kidneys can be detected at an early stage. So, this gives so much more room for treatment before it gets serious.

Kidney cancer can be detected through symptoms, like the following:

  • Intermittent fever
  • Blood in the urine
  • Tiredness
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Loss of appetite

Ironically, ranitidine or Zantac is used to treat heartburn. But, in the long run, it can also potentially cause heart failure. This disease refers to the condition whereby the heart is no longer pumping as well as it should be. This function is very important, as it’s through this that oxygen-carrying nutrients for the body are distributed evenly in the body.

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up pink, foamy mucus
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Decreased alertness

Your Recourse If You’ve Taken Zantac

If you have taken Zantac or other forms of ranitidine, or a drug with NDMA, you may ask your doctor for a change in medication.

Here are some of the alternatives that you can choose to take:

  • Medical Alternatives. For your heartburn and GERD, you may ask your doctor for another H2 blocker or a proton pump inhibitor.
  • Non-medical Alternatives. You can also ask your doctor for other healthier changes you can make, which doesn’t involve taking in and being dependent on medicines. These include eating smaller meals, wearing looser fitting clothes, and not laying down for a few hours after eating.


The Zantac recall has been one of the most serious and biggest medical lawsuits that has ever occurred. From all that you’ve read above, it’s easy to see why. Because it’s used to treat and manage common discomforts, such as GERD and heartburn, it’s indeed a fact that many had already taken Zantac in the past. If you’re one of these patients, the bad news is that yes, there’s a possibility that you may develop cancer. Your best first recourse is to first ask for an alternative medication from your doctor. Then, you may proceed with your case if desired.