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.