The Effects Of Zantac On The Human Liver: A Brief

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If you take the Zantac medication, you might want to talk to your medical provider about the potential effects on the human liver. We all do a lot to keep ourselves in shape. Eating a better diet to improve our health and doing regular workouts are part of many people’s lives. Yet, sometimes, even after putting in so much effort, we may struggle with recurring problems, like heartburn.

Anyone struggling with a recurring health issue has a go-to medication for the same. Imagine your go-to medicine giving you cancer instead of the relief you expected. More importantly, this is precisely what happened to the users of Zantac.

Zantac

The Previous Popularity Of Zantac

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. And before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health programs. Sassy Townhouse Living and authors are not responsible for any adverse effects resulting from your use of or reliance on any information or products contained in any article or website.

Previously, Zantac reached massive popularity in America and sold the most medication for acid indigestion and gastrointestinal problems. Since they sold it over the counter, that made it easy to purchase and affordable.

Later, they found the medication contained an unstable drug called Ranitidine. More so, it risked contamination by another component in the drug called, N-Nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA (a potential human carcinogen).

This shocking discovery of patients getting liver and bladder cancer from NDMA in Zantac made by independent testing of the medication, along with numerous lawsuits, caused the fall of Zantac.

The FDA looked into the matter closely. Then, all manufacturers and distributors issued a notice to withdraw Zantac from the market. Zantac primarily attacks our liver and bladder.

In addition, Ranitidine contaminated by NDMA can cause liver cancer and other liver damage. So, let’s find out exactly how Zantac affects the human liver.

Zantac

The Uses Of Zantac

The main ingredient in the Zantac medication, Ranitidine, treated the following ailments.

  • Acid reflux in the gastroesophageal tract
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach Ulcers

The medication was iconic until the long-term effects of using Zantac started coming out in the news. Ranitidine is a volatile compound that can break down to produce NDMA. However, when they manufactured Zantac, the Ranitidine was pristine and had no NDMA contamination.

Nevertheless, when it sits on the shelf for some time, and the storage temperature is not low enough, Ranitidine starts breaking down and producing NDMA. This NDMA, when accumulated at high levels inside the body, can cause different kinds of cancer in the human body, including liver cancer and liver damage.

Cancerous Damage To The Liver Through Zantac Usage

The liver plays a significant role in processing pharmaceutical drugs, toxins, and many other things, in the body. Thus, it is natural that when a human takes a Zantac pill containing contaminated Ranitidine, the liver processes NDMA and comes in direct contact with it. This phenomenon can cause hepatotoxicity or liver poisoning.

Moreover, multiple animal studies found that NDMA stimulates the release of inflammatory cytokines when metabolized by the liver. Inflammatory cytokines can secrete from cells that promote inflammation and may cause liver scarring.

Exposure of the liver to NDMA for prolonged periods can cause a tumor in the liver that can turn cancerous and cause liver cancer in the body.

NDMA primarily causes a type of liver cancer called Hepatocellular carcinoma. However, it can also cause cancer in the liver’s bile ducts. If NDMA-caused cancer goes undiagnosed, i.e., at the earlier stage, it can be fatal for the patient. However, with an early diagnosis, the patient can receive radiation therapy and extend life.

Non-Cancerous Damage To The Liver Through Usage

Along with liver cancer, using Zantac can also cause non-cancerous liver damage in the human body. Since we have sensitive liver tissues, the NDMA contaminants can easily damage the liver. In addition, prolonged exposure of the liver tissues to the medication can make the liver toxic.

This toxicity of the liver can cause liver cirrhosis or enlargement of the liver, ultimately leading patients to liver cancer.

Effects of exposure to high levels of NDMA on the liver according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Liver disease
  • Liver swelling/ enlargement
  • Reduction in the functioning of the liver
  • Liver cancer

Symptoms of liver damage caused by Zantac

  • Bleeding internally
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Hepatitis and Jaundice
  • Darker colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid weight loss and appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Zantac can also cause some other health issues like,

  • PPH or Primary Pulmonary Hypertension – It causes your blood vessels to narrow down and increase the pressure on the walls of your lungs.
  • Crohn’s Disease – It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It can be quite painful and cause diarrhea, cramps, abdominal pains, and rapid weight loss.

Conclusion

Many studies conducted in the past have proved a link between the use of Zantac and its impact on the liver. Therefore, a senior author and researcher, Bernd Schnabl, M.D., undertook a study of the connection between gastric reflux medications and chronic liver disease.

And the published study in a journal called “Nature Connections.” As per Bernd Schnabl, increased use of such medications might have contributed to increased chances of chronic liver diseases when accompanied by other risk factors related to personal health and lifestyle.

Because of multiple Zantac lawsuits by cancer patients diagnosed with cancer for prolonged usage, Zantac is no longer available in the market. As a result, most manufacturers have started making a variant of Zantac with Famotidine, a more stable drug that cannot risk contamination with NDMA.

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. And before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health programs. Sassy Townhouse Living and authors are not responsible for any adverse effects resulting from your use of or reliance on any information or products contained in any article or website.

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