Hundreds of consumers have filed lawsuits over recalled Zantac medication. They claim it caused multiple forms of cancer. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you should speak with an attorney today. Request a free, no-obligation Zantac cancer legal evaluation today.
One of the many difficulties posed by this past year has been the number of drug recalls. In this period, many of these recalled drugs tested positive for unsafe levels of cancer-causing material. This includes over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. Manufacturers have removed the contaminated drugs from shelves, but consumers may need alternatives.
One of the most popular recalled drugs this year is Zantac heartburn medication. Zantac is used to treat excess stomach acid and several forms of ulcers. There are several OTC alternatives to Zantac, but they come with their own problems. Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium treat heartburn and gastrointestinal ulcers. But, they have all been associated with potentially serious kidney injuries.
Therefore, it may be difficult for consumers to find alternatives to these drugs. The good news is that we found several options within the plant world. According to researchers, several plant compounds can improve symptoms of gastric ulcers. We profiled these compounds and the evidence for their use below.
Licorice plants have been used to treat gastrointestinal problems for centuries. But, traditional extracts of the plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can cause unwanted side effects. As a result, researchers developed a processed form of the extract with less of the side effect-inducing compound.
The modified extract, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, is available as a supplement. According to research, this compound can improve symptoms of gastric ulcers by:
- Encouraging protective mucus production in the stomach
- Increasing the lifespan of mucus-producing stomach cells
In one clinical trial, the modified extract was tested against cimetidine. Cimetidine is the active ingredient in Tagamet, another heartburn medication.
Patients taking the licorice-based drug experienced slightly slower improvement of symptoms. But, after six weeks, researchers found no difference between the two drugs. Both compounds showed healed ulcers in about 90% of patients.
Aloe vera gel is a popular sunburn remedy, but it has also been used to treat gastric ulcers. In one animal study, it was able to heal and prevent stress-induced ulcers. Additional animal studies have shown aloe gel effective in treating ulcers caused by other factors.
One clinical study investigated aloe gel as a treatment for gastric ulcers in 12 patients. 11 of these patients achieved complete recovery with no recurrence in the year following treatment. The last patient's ulcer did resolve, but researchers were unable to determine if the ulcer recurred.
Note: Consumers should not ingest any form of aloe vera gel unless it is clearly labeled as safe for consumption.
Marshmallow plant is also called Althaea officinalis. It is a component of several herbal supplements intended to treat heartburn and gastric ulcers.
Researchers have tested marshmallow plant in multiple stomach ulcer models. Animal subjects were given marshmallow plant supplementation for two weeks. Then, the subjects were exposed to ulcer-inducing materials. Subjects receiving marshmallow plant had significantly fewer ulcers versus untreated subjects.
Researchers concluded that marshmallow plant protects subjects from some forms of stomach ulcers.
Consumers Can Learn More By Consulting a Physician
Anyone struggling with heartburn or gastric ulcers should speak with a physician about these and other options. A doctor can take into account the individual's specific health situation before recommending an alternate treatment. Consumers should never discontinue prescribed medication without first consulting a licensed physician.