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3 common drugs linked to cancer

Drugs linked to cancer

There are many factors that may contribute to an increased risk of developing cancer. Some people are also more prone to the disease than others, with genetics and environment both playing a role. That said, one of the most prevalent but seldom considered culprits is prescription drugs. How are certain prescription drugs linked to cancer?

Drugs, cancer, and the link

While scientists are still researching the exact reasons as to why certain pharmaceuticals can lead to cancer, there is sufficient evidence of three key categories of drugs involved here, namely:

  • Diabetes medications
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunosuppressive therapy

With this information in mind, let’s discuss some of the most common drugs linked to cancer.

Losartan and valsartan

There are several blood pressure treatments that have been recalled in the past due to the presence of NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine), an organic compound that has attracted attention for being carcinogenic and highly hepatotoxic. It was confirmed that losartan and valsartan are two such medications.

The announcements came amid a number of discoveries relating to the presence of carcinogens in blood pressure drugs. Valsartan in particular was on the market for four years before the finding was made. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) estimates that 1 in 8,000 people who were on the highest dose of the drug are above the average rate when it comes to the risk of developing cancer.


One of the most popular heartburn medications, Zantac has been identified by experts from the FDA to be a risk factor for cancer. This occurred when the Federal body was alerted by a local pharmaceutical firm that NDMA had been found in heartburn drugs – a matter that has undergone investigation for several years.

A major issue is that many people who were taking the medication continued doing so unless instructed to stop by their healthcare provider, despite being informed of the risk. It was also established that major companies, such as Boehringer and Pfizer, failed to warn customers about the dangers of taking Zantac.

If you or someone you know has taken this medication, it would be wise to consult a reputable Zantac lawyer such as Romanucci Blandin who specializes in these types of cases and can provide assistance on receiving compensation.

Proton pump inhibitors

Acid reflux and heartburn treatments are some of the most widely used drugs in the States. Proton pump inhibitors, which work by suppressing acid production, have been found to increase the risk of developing stomach cancer by as high as 250% with extended use.

Learn more about cancer risks and a recent lawsuit


As always, consult a trusted doctor before taking any new medications. It’s also a good idea to perform some research and determine whether there are any known side effects for the drug that might be of concern. The health risks that come with taking medications are often only evident over time as symptoms develop through long-term use.

One thing to look out for with regards to increased cancer risk is the presence of carcinogens, which can also be found in foods that increase cancer risk. This is why living a healthy lifestyle is just as important for safeguarding your well-being as being careful with the medications you take.

12 thoughts on “3 common drugs linked to cancer”

  1. Well, hi Christy, this post hit home! Before I read the post you had me curious because it’s been playing on my mind about my husband’s meds and how when they finally discovered his terminal cancer, they immediately took him off his diabetic meds. And…………………….. he took Zantac daily for years, until they completely took it off the shelves in Ontario and he was given a substitute. I’ve been doing a little investigating and so many have died from pancreatic cancer this year, and the majority of them were diabetics! Now I’m on a mission. Thank you. <3

    1. Oh Debby, it sounds like this one came at the time when you were starting to look for answers… and it’s shocking about meds on the shelves and potential effects… I admire you for what you are doing looking for answers that could help those who take pills and don’t think about possible consequences. It makes me think twice for sure. Many hugs xo

  2. The reason the drugs above were recalled is because of quality control issues during manufacture in which impurities are not removed appropriately according to specifications. Much of the manufacturing has been transferred from the USA and Europe to sites in China and India where there are fewer inspections by the Food and Drug Administration.

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