Zantac (ranitidine) is a popular prescription and over-the-counter drug used to relieve heartburn and treat various acid reflux-related conditions. Since receiving FDA-approval in 1983, Zantac has consistently remained a top-selling drug in the United States and worldwide.
Its widespread use, however, has recently become a cause for concern, after routine testing of certain Zantac products revealed unsafe amounts of a cancer-causing agent known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). This discovery has sparked massive, global recalls of Zantac and generic ranitidine drugs by the primary pharmaceutical companies responsible for producing, marketing, and selling these products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and numerous law firms across the country are conducting ongoing investigations into the dangers of the NDMA found in Zantac, how many people are believed to be affected, and whether the drugmakers who produce these drugs were aware of the excessive NDMA in their products prior to sales.
Thousands of people have begun the process of taking legal action against top Zantac drugmakers by filing individual lawsuits or joining class actions. This includes residents in the state of Alabama that have developed serious health issues—such as cancer—after taking Zantac, or have lost a loved one to cancer after taking Zantac for a health condition.
Why Has Zantac Been Recalled?
In September 2019, the FDA issued a public statement alerting healthcare providers and their patients of a discovered NDMA contamination in certain Zantac and generic ranitidine products. Although safe to ingest in trace amounts, overexposure to the chemical, NDMA, has been linked to a variety of serious health issues, including liver disease, kidney damage, and various cancers.
Since this initial announcement, over a dozen pharmaceutical companies have voluntarily recalled their Zantac and ranitidine products in the U.S., as have a number of pharmacies, big-box stores, and chain drugstores.
Types of Zantac products that have been recalled include:
- Zantac 150
- Zantac 150 Cool Mint
- Zantac 75
- other brand name ranitidine products (e.g. Wal-Zan, Heartburn Relief)
- prescription ranitidine tablets, capsules, and oral syrups
Across the globe, many countries have issued mandatory, comprehensive recalls for ranitidine products, as well as bans on sales. This contrasts with the United States federal agency, the FDA, which has not issued a mandatory recall as of March 2020, nor a ban on Zantac drug sales.
What To Know About Zantac Recalls And Lawsuits
Many people in the United States are concerned about the recent Zantac recalls. If you or a loved one has taken Zantac (ranitidine) for a health condition, here is the most important information to know.
Conditions Treated By Zantac
An estimated 15 million prescriptions are written for Zantac each year, not counting the many people who have taken Zantac over-the-counter products. As an effective antacid, Zantac is primarily used to treat health issues related to gastric reflux.
Common conditions treated with Zantac include:
- chronic heartburn
- acid reflux
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- other gastric reflux-related issues
Many people who take Zantac take it regularly for chronic reflux issues. If you’ve taken Zantac long-term on a regular basis for a chronic health condition, contact your doctor as soon as possible to discuss alternative treatment options.
Have All Zantac Products Been Recalled?
The primary manufacturer of brand-name Zantac products, Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, has issued a voluntary recall of their over-the-counter Zantac products, effectively taking them off the market. This includes Zantac 75, Zantac 150, and Zantac 150 Cool Mint.
However, not all ranitidine products in the United States have been recalled at this time.
Are All Forms Of Zantac Unsafe?
The answer to whether all Zantac contains unsafe amounts of NDMA is uncertain at this time. While the FDA has stated that only certain lots of ranitidine drugs are believed to contain an NDMA impurity, pharmaceutical researchers have disputed this. Instead, they believe that the source of the NDMA in Zantac is an “inherent instability” of the ranitidine molecule. When ingested, the drug is believed to break down in the body to form NDMA.
The source of the NDMA found in Zantac is currently being investigated by the FDA and other parties. At this time, the FDA has not advised people who are taking ranitidine to stop, but has recommended that any patients who wish to stop taking ranitidine speak to their doctor about alternative treatment options.
How NDMA Was Discovered In Zantac
The NDMA in Zantac was first discovered by the online pharmacy, Valisure, during a round of routine product testing. The amount of NDMA found in Zantac far exceeded the FDA-recommended daily intake limit of 96 nanograms, with as much as 3,000,000 ng found in a single tablet.
Additional product testing by the FDA has found amounts of NDMA in Zantac that are lower than this but still higher than the acceptable 96 ng.
After discovering the NDMA in Zantac, Valisure reported their findings to the FDA and later filed a Citizen Petition with the federal agency in September 2019, requesting they issue a full recall of all ranitidine products in the U.S.
Days after Valisure filed this petition, the FDA released an official statement, alerting doctors and the broader public of the NDMA impurity found in certain lots of Zantac products.
Unlike the NDMA impurities found in the blood pressure drug, Valsartan, the NDMA in Zantac is not believed to be the result of a manufacturing error. An investigation into the source of the NDMA in Zantac is currently underway.
Types Of Cancer Linked To Zantac
Overexposure to NDMA has been linked to a variety of health issues, including various cancers. The longer a person is exposed to excessive amounts of NDMA, the higher their risk for cancer is believed to be.
The types of cancer linked to the NDMA in Zantac include:
- lung cancer
- liver cancer
- kidney cancer
- stomach cancer
- esophageal cancer
- bladder cancer
- breast cancer
- tongue cancer
- pancreatic cancer
Symptoms And Dangers Of NDMA Overexposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NDMA is a probable human (B2) carcinogen that can have harmful effects on the environment, as well as animal and human health.
As a former ingredient in rocket fuel, NDMA is a chemical that occurs naturally and can be manufactured through industrial processes. Exposure to NDMA can occur through the consumption of certain foods (e.g. smoked and cured meats), contaminated water, inhalation of smoke, and the use of certain household and cosmetic products.
Overexposure to NDMA over an extended amount of time can have observable, adverse effects on several organs in the body, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, bladder, and stomach.
Dangers of being exposed to excessive NDMA include:
- enlarged liver
- reduced liver and kidney function
- internal bleeding
- liver disease
If you’ve been exposed to an excessive amount of NDMA, you may present certain symptoms. These can be mild to severe in nature and may vary depending on factors such as health status and the amount of NDMA you’ve ingested.
According to the EPA, potential symptoms of overexposure to NDMA include:
- jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
- stomach cramps
Zantac Manufacturer Liability
Any drug that is FDA-approved for consumer use in the United States is rigorously studied and tested to determine potential uses, benefits, as well as potential dangers and side effects. Drug manufacturers that fail to accurately or fully list all possible health risks associated with the use of their drugs may be held liable (i.e. legally responsible) for any resulting injury or death.
Current lawsuits being filed against Zantac drugmakers allege that there is enough evidence of ranitidine’s ability to generate dangerous amounts of NDMA in the body to posit that drugmakers either should have been aware of the NDMA in Zantac or were aware and failed to properly warn the government, doctors, and patients.
As a result of drugmakers failing to detect or warn the public of the NDMA in Zantac, manufacturers of Zantac and ranitidine drugs may be held liable for:
- personal injury (i.e. cancer, liver disease from NDMA)
- product liability
- wrongful death
Our Featured Case Results
Types Of Zantac (Ranitidine) Lawsuits
The first lawsuit against Zantac drugmakers was filed in California on September 13, 2019—the very day the FDA first issued a statement on the NDMA in Zantac. Since then, thousands of individuals across the U.S. have filed individual and class action lawsuits, alleging that Zantac unlawfully exposed them to a cancer-causing chemical without proper warning.
Many people who are filing Zantac lawsuits are individuals who allege that their long-term use of Zantac for a health condition caused them to develop cancer. However, even people who haven’t developed cancer may still be eligible to sue Zantac drugmakers after taking the drug on the grounds of product liability.
Here is a brief explanation of the different types of lawsuits being filed against Zantac drugmakers to get a better idea of whether your case qualifies.
Alabama Zantac Personal Injury Lawsuits
Many individuals who have developed cancer after using Zantac long-term for a health condition are suing Zantac manufacturers for personal injury. This allows individuals who have taken Zantac to hold the manufacturers accountable for injuries sustained after using the drug as directed.
Personal injury lawsuits against Zantac drugmakers draw on the legal theory of negligence, which directly links the personal injury to the negligent or otherwise reckless behavior of the liable party—in this case, the primary manufacturers of Zantac products.
Alabama Zantac Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability lawsuits are lawsuits that are filed on account of a defective or dangerous product or service. Under the current circumstances, Zantac has been deemed a defective drug, containing a probable human carcinogen that can have severe health effects in high doses.
Individuals who file a product liability lawsuit may be able to recover the amount of money spent on purchasing Zantac products, as well as other damages, depending on the details of your case and the extent of your personal or financial losses.
Alabama Zantac Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Several people have filed lawsuits against Zantac drugmakers on behalf of a loved one who died from cancer after taking Zantac regularly for a health condition.
Family members who have lost loved ones to cancer after being unknowingly exposed to the NDMA in Zantac can sue to recover damages associated with the loss of their loved one, including: funeral and burial costs, cancer treatment costs, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.
Understanding Zantac Litigation: Multidistrict Vs. Class Action
Lawsuits against powerful defendants can be filed individually to be grouped into multidistrict litigation or as part of a class action. Class actions lawsuits are filed when there is a large number of people who have been similarly harmed by a person, product, or service.
These individuals may be grouped into a “class” of plaintiffs, with one plaintiff chosen to represent the class and manage most duties of the typical plaintiff. Awarded damages in a class action lawsuit are distributed equally among all plaintiffs. The types of damages that may be awarded in class action cases can in some cases be limited, which may reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Most Zantac lawsuits that have been filed are individual lawsuits that have only recently been entering multidistrict litigation. Multidistrict lawsuits bring multiple individual lawsuits to a single court in order to expedite the litigation process and make a large number of single lawsuits against the same defendants easier to manage.
Unlike class action suits, lawsuits that are grouped together in multidistrict litigation remain individual—allowing each plaintiff to retain the ability to negotiate their own settlement amount with their lawyer.
This type of lawsuit is suitable for someone who has suffered wrongful death as a result of the NDMA in Zantac, or has sustained severe sickness or disabling health problems as a result of their use of Zantac. Plaintiffs may seek compensation for a wider range of damages (economic and non-economic losses) in filing individual lawsuits, depending on the details of their case.
What Type Of Lawsuit Should I File Against Zantac Drugmakers?
If you’ve taken Zantac regularly for a health condition and wish to take legal action in Alabama against the drug’s manufacturers, a lawyer can help you determine your legal options.
Based on the extent of your losses and other relevant factors, a lawyer can provide a suggested course of action that best fits the needs of your case and allows you to seek the greatest amount of compensation.
Alabama Zantac Lawyers Of Florin|Roebig
Florin|Roebig Trial Attorneys has been voted one of America’s top-rated law firms consistently over the past 10 years and has secured over $1 billion for clients who have suffered injury, discrimination, and wrongful death nationwide.
Our lawyers have been diligently following the latest Zantac recall news and updates from the FDA regarding Zantac safety and how many people have been affected by the NDMA in Zantac.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, our Alabama defective drug lawyers can determine whether you’re eligible to take legal action against Zantac manufacturers.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Find Help Filing A Zantac Lawsuit In Alabama
It’s unacceptable for any presumably safe pharmaceutical drug to put an individual at an increased risk for cancer.
Our experienced dangerous drug lawyers are equipped with the skills and resources necessary to fight for due compensation for people who have developed serious health issues after being exposed to the NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine.
Don’t wait to learn if you qualify. If you’re an Alabama resident who’s taken Zantac regularly for years and wishes to take legal action against Zantac drugmakers for compensation, our lawyers can help.
Contact us online or by calling (800) 226-6581 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case with a Zantac lawyer.