The drugmakers of Zantac and other ranitidine products have recalled their medications because of a newfound risk of cancer. A cancerous chemical was detected in Zantac in September 2019, and major pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have since pulled ranitidine products from their shelves.
These heartburn medications were thought to be safe for decades. The recent discovery has prompted the FDA and other health officials to warn consumers about the risks of taking Zantac. The medication is now associated with various forms of cancer, including bladder cancer.
The Link Between Zantac And Bladder Cancer
There is a link between Zantac and bladder cancer because the drug contains a chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance that has caused cancer in animals.
The FDA advises the public to not ingest more than 96 nanograms of NDMA each day. Although food and water can both be contaminated with NDMA, the known levels of the chemical aren’t enough to cause actual harm. Conversely, one 150mg tablet of ranitidine showed more than 47,000 nanograms of NDMA in urine samples tested during a 2016 study.
What’s more, the authors of the study were quick to note that NDMA was also metabolized in the participants’ bodies before reaching their urine. This means that the actual amount of NDMA in their bodies could be much higher than detected.
The study also noted that people suffering from a disease known as schistosomiasis have an increased risk for bladder cancer if they’re exposed to NDMA, including trace levels found in ranitidine products. Those living with peptic ulcers who take Zantac or another antacid medication are also at an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
Common Causes Of Bladder Cancer
Cell carcinoma is the most common form of bladder cancer. Over 80,000 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2019, and more than 17,000 people died from it. You can lower your risk of developing bladder cancer by not smoking and avoiding certain chemicals like NDMA.
Common causes of bladder cancer include:
- family history of bladder cancer
- certain gene mutations
- overexposure to workplace chemicals, including those found in paint, dye, petroleum, and metal
- taking chemotherapy drugs
- drinking water contaminated with arsenic
- taking Aristolochia fangchi, a chinese herb
- chronic urinary tract infections
Bladder Cancer Facts And Symptoms
Men are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than women. However, survival rates are lower for women with bladder cancer. This is likely because bladder cancer is discovered earlier in men than it is in women.
The survival rates of bladder cancer are highest among people who are diagnosed before the cancer spreads. Once the cancer spreads to other organs, survival rates are lower. For all cases of bladder cancer, the five-year survival rate is between 77 and 78 percent.
Since it’s important to diagnose bladder cancer before it spreads, here are some common symptoms:
- traces of blood in urine
- urinating often
- experiencing pain during urination
- pain in the pelvic region
- back pain
If you experience any symptoms of bladder cancer, contact your physician immediately. If you’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer and have taken Zantac in the past, you can pursue legal action against negligent parties.
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Has Anyone With Bladder Cancer Filed A Zantac Lawsuit?
In October 2019, a Colorado man filed a Zantac lawsuit against several drug manufacturers, including Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer. The man received a prescription for Zantac in 1996, eventually switching to Zantac OTC. He took at least four doses of Zantac each week.
The Colorado man, Mark Allan Blake, believes Zantac caused his bladder cancer. Blake was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2018. His claim alleges that drug manufacturers should have known about NDMA and its risk for cancer and should have subsequently informed the public.
What To Do For A Bladder Cancer Diagnosis After Taking Zantac
If you’ve taken Zantac and developed bladder cancer, you may not be alone. Several individuals across the United States are taking legal action against pharmaceutical manufacturers for failing to disclose the health risks of their products.
After consulting with your doctor about your health, you can reach out to an attorney. An attorney can help you determine if you’re eligible to file a claim against Sanofi or another manufacturer of Zantac or ranitidine. The best cases will include strong evidence of taking Zantac over long periods of time, such as a history of filling prescriptions.
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Contact Florin|Roebig For Help Filing A Zantac Lawsuit
At Florin|Roebig, our team of qualified dangerous drug attorneys will assess your individual case. We offer free case evaluations to determine if Zantac or ranitidine played a role in your bladder cancer. Your options for legal recourse include personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits, class action lawsuits, and multidistrict litigation (MDL).
To get started with your case and reclaim the damages you suffered, contact our offices today.