The drug ranitidine (brand name Zantac, which is sold by Sanofi) is available both over-the-counter and prescription. It belongs to a class of drugs called H2 blockers, which work by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach produces.
You can take zantac for heartburn or to prevent symptoms. The recommended dose is one tablet taken with a glass of water, at any time from 15 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause heartburn.
Do not take zantac for longer than 14 days unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you stop taking zantac for any reason, your body may have withdrawal symptoms like increased acid in your stomach and pain in your abdomen.
You should also know that the medication has been linked to cancer. This is because it contains NDMA, a chemical that can cause stomach and pancreatic cancer in some people.
There is a new over-the-counter version of zantac 360 made with famotidine, which does not have the same cancer risk as ranitidine. However, if you are currently taking ranitidine and are worried about your health, talk to your doctor about switching to a safe alternative, such as a proton pump inhibitor.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe that the drug you took was the cause, you might be able to sue the makers of zantac or other products containing ranitidine. To do so, you and your legal team will need to show that you suffered avoidable harm as a result of taking the drug.