West Virginia residents may have heard that in 2019, the manufacturers of two heartburn drugs issued a voluntary recall of those drugs. One of the drugs was ranitidine, commonly known by the brand name Zantac. Zantac and any other ranitidine products were eventually removed from the U.S. market entirely. The second drug involved in the voluntary recall was nizatidine, commonly referred to by the brand name Axid.
Due to this voluntary recall, the FDA provided a list of alternative drugs that people could take. One option suggested was for people to take proton pump inhibitors, also referred to as PPIs. These types of drugs work by preventing acid from secreting into the stomach. Many people had already been using PPIs since many believed that they were much more effective at treating heartburn than Zantac and Axid. The three PPIs that the FDA specifically referenced were esomeprazol or Nexium, lansoprazole or Prevacid, and omeprazole or Prilosec. One downside to using PPIs is that they tend to increase the risk of the user developing gastric infections. Another downside is that they reduce the amount of B12 or magnesium absorbed by the body. This could end up causing an issue for people who have issues getting the right amount of nutrients into their bodies.
The reason that Zantac was taken off the market is because of claims that the drug contained high levels of Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, a carcinogenic compound that has been linked to several primary cancers. There are now lawsuits against the company.
When prescribed or OTC medication causes an unexpected illness, the effects can be devastating for the victim and the victim’s loved ones. If West Virginia residents have been injured by a recalled medication, they might benefit by working with a law firm that has experience working with mass tort cases.