- Zantac (Ranitidine): What It Is, Who It’s For & the Zantac Recall
Zantac (Ranitidine): What It Is, Who It’s For & the Zantac Recall
Various forms of the medication Zantac have recently been recalled by the Federal Drug Association. In this article, we will discuss how ranitidine works, and the potential side effects and the precautions you should be aware of if you are still taking this medication. We will also explore whether Zantac is addictive and the basics of the FDA recall regarding this drug. If you are interested in checking to see if you have a potential Zantac lawsuit click here.
What is Zantac (Ranitidine)?
Zantac, which is the brand name for ranitidine, is a prescription and over-the-counter medication primarily used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions that may arise due to excess acid in the stomach. Zantac can also be taken to prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers. This medication is part of the histamine-2 blocker family of drugs and works by decreasing how much acid the stomach produces.
The recommended dosage of Zantac for adults is 150 milligrams once or twice a day. Some individuals may need to take Zantac more frequently to experience relief from their symptoms. Ranitidine is available in either an injection or as a tablet. It’s important to always speak with your doctor before beginning a new drug or adjusting the dosage.
How Does Zantac Work?
Zantac works primarily by reducing the presence of acid in a person’s stomach. It does this by preventing the histamine in the body from creating acid in the stomach wall. Histamine interacts directly with stomach cells known as parietal cells and can result in too much acid being produced and stored in the stomach. By blocking histamine, Zantac is able to effectively limit stomach acid and reduce symptoms.
Common symptoms that Zantac can treat include:
* Sour stomach
* Upset stomach
* Chronic cough due to stomach acid
* Difficulty swallowing due to stomach acid
* Stomach bleeding
The amount of time it will take to experience relief from symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. For example, gastric reflux symptoms typically begin to improve after one or two weeks of taking Zantac. Heartburn symptoms should lessen after 24 hours.
Potential Side Effects of Using Zantac
As with most drugs, side effects are possible and even common. You should speak with your doctor to ensure you understand the potential side effects that may occur when taking Zantac.
The following are common side effects that may arise when taking Zantac:
* Stomach upset
* Tender breasts
* Decreased libido
If you experience these side effects for several days or weeks or if they are severe, you should speak with your doctor immediately.
In addition to the above common side effects, there are also a few potential serious side effects that Zantac can cause. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should stop using Zantac and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
* Increased or decreased heartbeat
* Blurred vision
* Other mood changes
* Severe stomach pain
* Skin or eyes that appear yellow
* Dark-colored urine
* Increased or easy bleeding/bruising
* Pneumonia symptoms
Additionally, ranitidine can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people, although this reaction is extremely rare. Symptoms of a Zantac allergic reaction include itching or swelling on the face or mouth, difficulty breathing and rash. Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms after taking ranitidine.
Zantac (Ranitidine) Interactions
There are several medications that Zantac may negatively interact with. The following are drugs that some people have experienced a negative interaction with when taken together with Zantac:
* Ledipasvir (Harvoni)
* Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
* Aripiprazole (Abilify)
* Antifungals such as ketoconazole
* Cobicistat (Tybost)
* HIV protease inhibitors
* Mesalamine (Canasa, Delzicol, Pentasa)
* Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
* Prazosin (Minipress)
* Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
* Tizanidine (Zanaflex)
* Prasugrel (Effient)
* Procainamide (Pronestyl, Procanbid)
* And more
Additionally, the drugs atazanavir (Reyataz) and gefitinib (Iressa) may work less effectively when taking ranitidine.
It’s important to inform your physician of any medications you are currently taking before beginning Zantac. If you experience any negative effects when taking another drug with Zantac, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Zantac and Alcohol Interactions
In addition to medications, Zantac can also have a negative interaction with substances like alcohol. The primary effect that has shown to occur when Zantac is taken with alcohol is that ranitidine can increase the effects of alcohol. This means that a person may feel more intoxicated despite drinking the same amount they usually would if they drink while taking Zantac.
This result is due to the fact that Zantac can affect how the liver breaks down alcohol and allow more alcohol than normal to enter into the bloodstream. This can ultimately lead to increased intoxication with a significantly lower intake of alcohol and can make it easier for an individual to overdose on alcohol. Alcohol overdose can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly, so it’s important to avoid drinking alcohol when taking Zantac if possible.
It’s also important to note that while rare, Zantac also has the potential of increasing a person’s heart rate when taken with alcohol. This can be especially dangerous for an individual who has a heart condition or who easily passes out.
Who Should Not Take Ranitidine?
Some people should not take ranitidine unless directly instructed by their physician. If you have any of the following conditions, do not take Zantac without doctor supervision:
* Asthma, COPD, or other diseases of the lungs
* Porphyria (a blood disorder)
* Kidney problems
* Liver problems
* Weakened immune system or immune diseases
* Stomach issues such as tumors
* Pregnant or breastfeeding
In addition to these conditions, individuals who are allergic to ranitidine or H2 blockers should not take this medication. Children ages 12 and younger should also avoid taking Zantac unless directed by a primary care physician.
What You Should Know About the Zantac Recall
In recent months, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall for various forms of Zantac. You should not only consult with a doctor but also contact a Zantac attorney. The types of ranitidine that were recalled include the prescription version of ranitidine hydrochloride capsules in both 150 mg and 300 mg as well as all forms of over-the-counter ranitidine in 75 mg and 150 mg strengths.
The recall was made by the FDA due to the detection of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in this medication. N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a nitrosamine impurity, has been found to be a probable human carcinogen, or a substance that could potentially cause cancer in humans. This impurity was found at low levels in the drug Zantac and there have been no reports of cancer as a result of taking Zantac to date.
If you currently take Zantac, you should speak with your doctor about the risks associated with this medication as well as if switching to a different medication is in your best interest. As of now, this recall is voluntary, meaning that the FDA has not ordered people to no longer take the drug. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with taking ranitidine.
Can You Become Addicted to Zantac?
There are currently no reports of individuals who have become physically and/or mentally addicted to Zantac. However, it’s important to only take the prescribed amount of this medication as instructed by your doctor. You should also consider only taking Zantac for short-term use to avoid dependency or worsening symptoms when not taking the drug.
If you would like to learn more about the Zantac recall or the addiction potential of ranitidine, contact one of our treatment specialists today.