As we discussed in a recent blog post, the over-the-counter heartburn drug Zantac has been taken off the shelves. Manufacturers discovered that the drug, and others containing ranitidine, may be contaminated by the carcinogen n-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.
Hearing that a medication you take was recalled can be alarming. So, what should you do if you took Zantac?
1. Do not panic
Any drug recall should be taken seriously. However, they are also common.
In the situation involving Zantac being pulled from stores, researchers have determined that the drug contains more than the regulated amount of NDMA. While this is concerning, some researchers believe the drug contains roughly the same amount of NDMA as common consumable products, including:
- Alcoholic beverages, such as beer
- Cheese and meat products
- Some sources of drinking water
You should stop taking Zantac, but the recall itself should not cause you to worry.
2. Speak with your doctor
Many news sources, and our previous blog posts, state it is a good idea to switch medications to treat your heartburn if you have been taking Zantac. It is helpful to consult your regular physician or another trusted medical professional to:
- Ask about alternative medications; and
- Determine the individual health risks you could face.
Your doctor can help you determine what actions you should take.
3. Watch out for dangerous symptoms
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), overexposure to NDMA can cause:
- Yellowing skin
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and dizziness
Being aware of the potential symptoms can help ensure you take action and receive essential medical care as soon as possible.
4. Learn more
Besides speaking with a medical professional, you also have the power to learn more for yourself. You can:
• Visit the manufacturer’s websites: The manufacturers Sandoz and Apotex have provided lists of the specific medications they recalled for you to review. You might call and try to obtain a refund.
• Contact an attorney: Learning more about your legal rights is critical. If you have questions you need answered, consult an experienced lawyer.
Learning more about the situation can help reduce the power worry has over you and determine precisely how you will move forward.