Zantac, also known as Ranitidine, refers to a group of medicines that are mainly used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and acids. The medication works by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach. And because of its successful effects, it’s a widely prescribed drug.
However, manufacturers often fail to indicate that as successful as Zantac may be, it comes with a highly cancerous compound called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). This sparked the widespread recall of the medicine after some patients claiming they developed cancer from Zantac.
As scary as this may sound, the first step to ensuring you get the best treatment and quality of life is by knowing the signs you may have cancer from Zantac. Cancer isn’t a death sentence, and you may be able to improve your prognosis through early detection. Not all Zantac use leads to cancer, however, and not all cancers may also be due to Zantac.
As you proceed with the signs below, you can also learn more insights about this correlation from reputable sources such as Drug Injury News and others. Nonetheless, here are some things to watch out for:
1. Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexplained weight loss is sudden and unintentional. So, if you’ve been controlling your food intake and exercising to intentionally shed off some weight, that’s not considered. You should be bothered about weight loss only when it’s abrupt, even if your diet and lifestyle have remained the same.
A good rule of thumb that’ll give you a hint whether it’s time to see your doctor is when you’ve lost at least more than five percent of your current weight within a span of six to twelve months. This could be alarming especially if you’ve had a history of taking Zantac as the two may be related. Unexplained weight loss is one of the early symptoms of cancer, so you should be on the lookout.
2. Stomach Pain
Stomach pain is an all-encompassing term referring to any discomfort you have in your abdomen and nearby areas. Once in a while, everyone will experience stomach pain, but there are instances when it may be alarming enough for it to be a cause of concern.
The most serious type of stomach pain which you should be worried about is progressive pain. This gets worse over time and often comes with other symptoms as well. In relation to Zantac use, you can tell that the pain you have may be more serious than the usual when, even with taking Zantac, the pain doesn’t disappear.
Some of those accompanying symptoms are:
- Increased frequency and pain when urinating
- Dark-colored urine
- More frequent need to hydrate
3. Loss Of Appetite
A sudden loss of appetite is another alarming sign that may be indicative of cancer due to Zantac. However, note that not all instances of appetite loss are immediately linked to cancer. When you’re feeling ill or stressed, for example, it’s normal for your appetite to suffer. It only becomes alarming when the loss starts to become more frequent or happens for longer durations.
Also, it’s important to draw the line between appetite loss which may be linked to cancer and one that isn’t. For the former, your loss of appetite will come with other underlying symptoms, so you can’t consider your appetite loss as an isolated case.
4. Changes In Bladder Or Bowel Habits
A healthy person should naturally urinate multiple times a day. The more fluids you drink, the more you need to empty your bladder. If you notice any changes in both bladder and bowel habits, you may need to see your doctor. Changes in bladder habits include both lesser and more frequent urination.
You may also start to notice blood in your stool and urine. This is an indicator of intestinal bleeding, which is one of the early signs of intestinal cancer. If you also have less control over your bowel and bladder functions or you’ve now started to pee in your pants, it may be a telling sign of health issues in your bladder—cancer from Zantac included.
The signs above are some common indications of cancer that can be linked with Zantac. Therefore, you need to be on the lookout for symptoms of cancer types such as esophageal, throat, lung, leukemia, stomach, breast, intestinal, lymphoma, colon and colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. If you’re one of those who’ve been previously dependent on Zantac, it pays to visit your doctor even without the symptoms above. Don’t be fearful because even if you have the symptoms above, it’s only through proper testing and diagnosis that you can verify whether it’s cancer. If it is, go through the necessary treatment as prescribed.