By now anyone who is taking Zantac as a heartburn or GERD medication will be seeking alternatives. This is because the FDA has finally ordered a ban on manufacturing, marketing and selling the drug in the United States because it has been alleged to have caused cancer. If you, or a family member, have developed cancer or other serious illness and you have been taking Zantac, you should talk to a personal injury attorney to discuss ways you can be compensated for the excessive financial and emotional hardship caused by a drug that you thought had no serious side-effects.
In the meantime, there are some alternatives to Zantac for the ailments it was designed to help alleviate that you could think about using. Of course, you should first discuss these with your doctor.
Proton pump inhibitor
A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is a class of drug which works by blocking irreversibly the secretions of acid into the stomach by specific enzymes. Because a PPI is considered to be much more effective than Zantac it has been commonly used as an alternative.
The 3 PPIs that the FDA has on its lists as alternatives to Zantac are:
If one of these PPIs is chosen as a replacement for Zantac, there is a chance it could cause an increase in the risk of getting a gastric infection. The medication may also lower the absorption of Vitamin B12 and magnesium.
Other alternatives to Zantac are H2 Histamine Receptor Antagonists
Both nizatidine and ranitidine (Zantac) are H2 histamine receptor antagonists. This means their role is to prevent histamine from activating the cells in the lining of the stomach that form and secrete acid into the stomach. So far it has been found that NDMA contamination, which is what the Zantac recall is all about, is only present in nizatidine and ranitidine.
There are Zantac alternatives which are two other drugs from this class. The FDA has listed two choices for the H2 histamine receptor antagonists, which are both safe replacements for ranitidine. These are famotidine and cimetidine.
Most H2 histamine receptor antagonists can generally be tolerated, but cimetidine is typically associated with a number of adverse effects such as gynecomastia, anemia, impotence, deficiency of vitamin B12, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. The H2 histamine receptor antagonist has also been linked to a changed mental state with dizziness, headaches and restlessness, typically in older people.
It is important to only take these types of drugs when supervised by a physician. This is so the right dose and treatment time can be affirmed. Long-term unmonitored use of any of these classes of drugs could lead to unwanted adverse effects. If any Zantac alternatives are used it should only be paired with suitable modifications to lifestyle so as to lower the chance of exacerbating stomach acid issues.
Lifestyle changes as alternatives to drugs
There are many ways those suffering from heartburn can relieve the symptoms rather than turning to drugs and these include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight because those excessive pounds exert pressure on the abdomen causing acid to reflux into your esophagus.
- Stopping smoking as this lowers the ability of the esophageal sphincter’s to function correctly.
- Elevate your bed by placing cement or wood blocks beneath the feet of the bed at the head end so they are 6 to 9 inches higher. More pillows aren’t so useful.
- Wait three hours at least before lying down after eating or going to bed.
- Eat and chew food slowly, don’t hurry food into your mouth.
- Avoid fried or fatty foods, chocolate, tomato sauce, alcohol, caffeine, mint, onion and garlic.
- Avoid wearing clothes that are tight as they exert too much pressure onto your abdomen which causes increased flows into your esophagus.
If you, or a loved one, have developed cancer and you were taking Zantac over a long period of time, by all means choose the best alternative, but you should still contact a Zantac lawsuit attorney to discuss filing a lawsuit for compensation for the use of a drug that you thought was perfectly safe. Contact the Keith Williams Law Group in Nashville for aggressive representation. The office can be contacted at (615) 313-3999.