Popular over-the-counter and prescription medications for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have recently been voluntarily recalled and removed from the market. Commonly known by the brand names Zantac, Tazac and Axid, these medications have been found to contain potentially unsafe levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen.
Both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the U.S. National Toxicology Program list NDMA as a compound that probably causes cancer in humans, and under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, it is classified as extremely hazardous. As a known carcinogen, it is actually used in cancer research labs to induce cancer in rats.
Health Effects of Overexposure to NDMA
NDMA is a chemical compound found in both industrial and natural processes. In Zantac, Tazac and Axid, however, it is the result of degradation of the medications’ molecules that can occur during the distribution and storage processes. When the contaminated medication enters the human digestive tract, the NDMA can be very dangerous.
Prolonged exposure to the NDMA compound has, unfortunately, been linked to various primary cancers, including esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer and liver cancer, as well as being possibly linked to prostate cancer, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition to cancer, NDMA has also been known to cause liver damage and reduced function of the liver, kidneys and lungs, arrhythmia or tachycardia, low platelet levels, increased risk of pneumonia, nervous system disorder, skin rashes and hair loss.
What to Do If You Take Zantac, Tazac or Axid
If you have been taking one or more of these medications regularly, you should consider other viable alternatives. The FDA recommends you stop taking any over-the-counter tablets or liquids, dispose of them properly, and not buy more. If you are taking prescription ranitidine or nizatidine, they suggest you talk with your healthcare professional about other treatment options before stopping the medication.
If you are experiencing negative health effects from the medications, you should also consult with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Hopefully, problems associated with ingestion of unsafe levels of NDMA can be caught early and treated effectively.
If you are diagnosed with cancer that could have been caused by taking Zantac, Tazac or Axid over time, please also consult with experienced Miami attorneys for cancer from Zantac for help determining and pursuing your best legal option for obtaining fair compensation for your injury. We will fight for the substantial compensation you deserve for damages as a result of pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, scarring, diminished capacity to enjoy life, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and all the elements of damage available under Florida law.