Think twice before you take certain heartburn medications

When you consume medication for heartburn, you likely do so with confidence that the medicine will provide you with relief from pain and discomfort. You are probably not considering the potential of the medicine being harmful in any way. Unfortunately, some common medicines used for the treatment and prevention of heartburn contain ingredients that could cause long-term harm to the user.

Zantac is a common heartburn medicine that is available over the counter and often recommended by doctors. It was at one point a common recommendation for the treatment of ulcers as well. However, officials at the Food and Drug Administration ordered that version of the drug be removed from the shelves after concerns arose about the possible inclusion of a carcinogenic ingredient in the medicine.

Ranitidine medications pulled from the shelves

The order from the FDA to immediately remove the drug from the shelves stemmed from concerns that all ranitidine medication, commonly called Zantac, may contain an ingredient associated with causing cancer. The FDA also expressed concerns that the impurity of the dangerous chemicals thought to be in Zantac medications could increase over time. Two different companies initiated a voluntary recall of over-the-counter and prescription Zantac medications.

The FDA then initiated a mandatory recall of all Zantac medications under all names and types due to the serious risk to customers caused by the impurity increasing with time. The FDA noted that, when stored at higher-than-average room temperature, the impurity increases at a rate that places a user at an elevated risk of exposure to a potentially cancer-causing ingredient. It is possible many users took this medication completely unaware of the potential risk they were facing by taking what they assumed was a safe heartburn medication.

The long-term implications

Taking dangerous medication can result in long-term harm that may affect the user years in the future. An individual who consumed Zantac could face an elevated risk of certain types of cancer. If given a diagnosis of liver, colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, stomach and various other types of cancers, it is possible there is a connection to consumption of a ranitidine medication in the past.

It may be in the interests of that individual to seek an understanding of his or her legal options in light of the possible connection between dangerous heartburn medicine and current medical needs. Individuals suffering as a result of harmful drugs do not have to suffer in silence. It may be possible to pursue justice through a civil claim, an option that may provide the chance to secure appropriate compensation.