Zantac is a commonly used medication for heartburn. Recently, the United States asked for a voluntary recall as the heartburn drug contains a cancer-causing NDMA contamination. With the drug being taken off pharmacy shelves, the FDA has given safer alternative medications to treat heartburn and related conditions.
Zantac: Drug Classification
Zantac belongs to the H2-receptor antagonist group of medicines that is commonly recognized as H2-blockers. The name may be confusing, but its definition is straightforward: H2 is a receptor in the stomach lining, a molecule that acts as a port to bind other molecules like drugs.
An antagonist is a drug or chemical bond in the receptor to stop a specific condition from happening. These components acting together lead to a reduction of stomach acid when H2 receptors bind with Zantac.
Classification of Zantac Alternatives
Any over the counter medication that can act as a Zantac alternative belongs to one of the following groups:
- H2-receptor antagonists: These drugs belong to the same class as Zantac
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): These drugs include esomeprazole or omeprazole.
Legally, most alternative drugs to Zantac are licensed medicines in the following categories:
- Pharmacy-only medicines: The drugs are only found in pharmacies and online pharmacies that operate under pharmacist supervision.
- Prescription-only medicines: They are available only with a doctor’s written prescription.
- Over-the-counter options: Also recognized as Genera Sale List, these drugs are products that you can find in any retail outlets like shops and supermarkets.
Zantac Alternative Drugs
Zantac used to be the most popular drug for treating heartburn in the world. The drug is still available to the public in any retail shop and pharmacy under the name of ranitidine.
Although Zantac is one of the best antacids, it will not be available as over the counters soon enough due to safety concerns. Other Zantac alternatives can also reduce stomach acid.
Some of the drugs, however, have many side effects and several interactions with other medications. In case a doctor prescribes Zantac, and it leads to severe injuries, you can file a lawsuit against both the doctor and drug maker for personal injury compensation.
Caution for the Use of Over-the-Counter PPIs
All over-the-counter drugs have the same recommendation and license on treatment duration. They are used for managing short-term acid reflux or heartburn. They are available without a prescription only to people over eighteen years.
Some patients will need to take the medications for three to four days before the symptoms subside, and if the symptoms persist, after taking over-the-counter PPIs, patients are advised to consult their treating doctors.
The common PPIs side effects include:
- Stomach upset: flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Benign polyps formation in the stomach.
Here are the Safest Alternatives to Zantac
- Esomeprazole (Nexium Control)
Nexium Control has an active ingredient of 20mg esomeprazole. This dosage is enough to control heartburn symptoms over the next twenty-four hours. The drug is available in retail stores and drug stores. The recommended dose is one tablet or capsule per day.
- Guardium Acid Reflux
Esomeprazole is also an active ingredient in Guardium Acid Reflux Control; you can purchase the drug in any retail store, pharmacy, and website. The drug is Gaviscon maker’s product, a known drug maker of antacid medications recommended for managing heartburn.
The safe daily dose of Guardian Acid Reflux is one tablet per day for up to three weeks or until symptoms subside.
The drug is only available in pharmacies. It is a gastro-resistant tablet that comes in 10mg. Most pharmacies sell the medicine under their brand name, for instance, Lloyds Pharmacy Heartburn Relief Tablets 10mg and Boots Acid Reflux 10mgs. The recommended drug dosage is two 10mg tablets per day for up to two weeks.
- Galpharm Esomeprazole Capsules
It is one of the cheapest PPIs for treating heartburn and other related conditions. It comes in two different packs; one pack size has seven capsules while the other package has fourteen tablets. They can be both found in various stores but not in pharmacies.
As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. He aims to draw in the public and make people more interested in the field. He is active on multiple platforms to increase his outreach to the public. Leland tirelessly covers all types of legal issues, but he has a personal preference for medical malpractice. This is mainly because he witnessed the implications of medical malpractice on a family member.