What are the side effects of NDMA?

Laboratory medications

You may never have heard of NDMA and even less likely to have heard n-nitroso-dimethylamine, but you probably have heard of Zantac, which is the commercial name for Ranitidine. You may know Zantac as an ulcer treatment that has become popular over the last few years. In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered a recall of Zantac and similar Ranitidine products because they have been found to have traces of NDMA, which is a carcinogen, inside them.

NDMA vs. Ranitidine

It is important to note that NDMA is not the active ingredient in Ranitidine or Zantac. While Zantac was approved for human consumption, NDMA is only approved for experimental use. Because trace amounts of NDMA have been found in Zantac, the FDA believes that with time and temperature these low levels of NDMA could possibly lead to cancer in Zantac users. For this reason, on April 1, 2020, the FDA ordered a recall of all Ranitidine products. Read the FDA statement here.

Frequently Asked Questions About NDMA and Ranitidine

How did Zantac get approval if it was dangerous?

The active ingredients in Zantac are not considered dangerous at this time. The traces of NDMA found in the product could potentially lead to cancer.

Why is NDMA in Zantac?

While this is an ongoing investigation, the FDA has been unclear about the way that NDMA has appeared in Ranitidine products. They have, however, noted that the levels increase over time at normal temperatures.

What should I do if I have Zantac or a similar product?

You should not continue taking any product that could be linked to cancer. Additionally, you should contact your doctor to ask for an alternative treatment. If your doctor instructs you to continue with Zantac, inform them about the recall and seek a second opinion.

Which alternative products are safe?

According to the FDA, products containing famotidine, cimetidine, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, or omeprazole have not been found to have NDMA. These are available in over-the-counter and prescription medications. You should consult your physician before beginning any new medical regimen, even if you are taking over-the-counter medications.

What types of cancer have been linked to NDMA?

The following cancer types have been linked to NDMA. However, the research is ongoing.

  • Stomach cancer
  • Cancer of the large and small intestines
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Myeloma

What should I do if I develop symptoms of cancer?

Nothing should come before your health. Contact your doctor and get a referral to an oncologist who specializes in the type of cancer you have or believe you have.

Legal Recourses Available

The manufacture of any product has an obligation to the safety of consumers. Drugs are not an exception. In regards to NDMA, high levels are known to cause cancer. If you’ve been the victim of manufacturer negligence, you’re entitled to compensation. Class-action and multi-jurisdictional lawsuits are forming. Your health comes first, but you are entitled to compensation. Contact a Zantac litigation attorney and discuss your options.