Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting individuals in the United States, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 8 women and 1 in 883 men.
In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a contamination within certain Zantac (generic ranitidine) drugs—which could reasonably affect millions of people who take these drugs each year.
The contaminant found in Zantac is called NDMA, which is a chemical that has been linked to various cancers, including breast cancer, and other health issues when a person is exposed to it in great amounts.
As one of the most prevalent and costly cancers to treat, breast cancer is a particular concern among both women and men who have taken Zantac long-term for a health condition.
Since the FDA announcement in 2019, thousands of people—including individuals with breast cancer—have filed lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies responsible for producing and profiting from these potentially cancerous drugs.
What We Know About The Link Between Zantac And Cancer
Zantac is a brand name for the generic drug, ranitidine, which works in the body by reducing the production of acid in the stomach. This has made it an effective drug for treating heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and ulcers.
Multiple studies dating back to the 1980s have shown evidence of NDMA, a cancerous chemical, being found in ranitidine products. In small amounts, NDMA is not necessarily toxic. The FDA-recommended daily limit for NDMA is 96 nanograms.
However, during routine testing of certain ranitidine products in June 2019, the online pharmacy, Valisure, detected over 3,000,000 nanograms of NDMA in each ranitidine tablet. FDA testing of ranitidine (Zantac) products showed levels of NDMA that were lower than this, but still unsafe.
Another concern about NDMA in Zantac is the current dispute over how the chemical came to be included in these drugs. While the FDA maintains that this is an issue of NDMA contamination, other researchers who have evaluated evidence on NDMA in Zantac believe it’s an instability of the chemical structure of the drug that causes the body to produce high levels of NDMA after ingestion.
Researchers who understand the dangers of NDMA have stated that overexposure to NDMA is only likely to lead to cancer in individuals who have had high levels of NDMA in their system for an extended amount of time.
This means that people who have been taking Zantac regularly (twice or more a week) for years may be those at the greatest risk for developing serious health issues, such as breast cancer, as a result of overexposure to NDMA.
About NDMA: The Cancerous Chemical In Zantac
The recent concerns about Zantac causing cancer are driven by the discovery of a cancerous chemical known as NDMA found in Zantac products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies NDMA as a probable human carcinogen that can have adverse effects on the environment, as well as animal and human health.
People can be exposed to NDMA in a variety of ways. The most common ways people are exposed to NDMA is through certain foods that contain NDMA—such as some smoked or cured meats—and NDMA-contaminated water.
NDMA exposure can also occur through:
- use of certain cosmetic products
- some household cleaners
- contaminated soil
- inhaling cigarette smoke
- drinking malt beverages
- certain workplace environments (e.g. tanning salons, rubber and tire plants, pesticide manufacturing plants)
Will I Develop Breast Cancer From Zantac?
It is uncertain at this time how many people are believed to be affected by the excessive NDMA found in Zantac products and whether exposure to NDMA through Zantac can lead to breast cancer.
If you’ve been taking Zantac regularly for years, it’s possible you may be at risk for developing breast cancer, or another form of cancer. Taking Zantac once or very rarely, however, is unlikely to increase your risk.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer after regularly taking Zantac for a health condition, you may be eligible to sue Zantac drugmakers for personal injury.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Zantac but are concerned about your risk, you may still be eligible to sue Zantac drugmakers on the grounds of product liability. Product liability lawsuits are filed by individuals who have been unlawfully or unreasonably harmed by a defective product or service.
Zantac Breast Cancer Lawsuits
Several cancer lawsuits have been filed against Zantac drug manufacturers by individuals who were diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Zantac regularly for health issues.
One example of a recent Zantac breast cancer lawsuit is that filed by South Florida resident, Joseph G., who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 after beginning his regular use of Zantac for frequent heartburn in 2009. In his lawsuit, which has been grouped into multidistrict litigation (MDL), the plaintiff attributes his breast cancer diagnosis to his use of Zantac drugs, pointing to statistics on his low risk for being diagnosed with this type of cancer otherwise.
Another woman, Jill G. from Boynton Beach, Florida, has also filed a lawsuit against Zantac manufacturers with the allegation that her regular use of Zantac led to her breast cancer diagnosis. In her filing, she references a 2008 study that shows modest evidence of a potential link between Zantac and breast cancer.
Although the survival rate for breast cancer has seen a slight rise in recent years, the physical, psychological, and financial toll of receiving a diagnosis and treatment is immense.
Many plaintiffs who are suing Zantac drugmakers, therefore, are seeking compensation not only to seek justice for their troubles, but to recover the enormous losses of developing and treating their breast cancer.
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What To Do If You’ve Developed Breast Cancer After Taking Zantac
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Zantac regularly for a health condition, consider taking the following steps:
Contact Your Doctor
If you’ve been taking Zantac for a health issue and are worried about its effects on your health, contact your doctor right away.
At this time, the FDA has not recommended that people who are taking Zantac necessarily stop taking the drug. However, if you’re concerned about the potential link between Zantac and breast cancer, your doctor may be able to prescribe a safe alternative for you to take instead.
Consult An Attorney
If you or a loved one has developed breast cancer after taking Zantac regularly for a health condition, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the primary manufacturers of Zantac drugs.
Most attorneys, including our experienced pharmaceutical attorneys at Florin|Roebig, will offer a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case to see if you qualify for taking legal action.
Additional benefits of contacting an attorney to help you file a Zantac breast cancer lawsuit:
- Determining Your Legal Options: An attorney can determine whether it’s in your best interest to file an individual lawsuit for multidistrict litigation or join a class action lawsuit.
- Recoverable Damages: An attorney can determine which types of losses you may be able to seek compensation for in a Zantac lawsuit.
- Legal Guidance: Lawyers who have experience handling dangerous drug lawsuits will be able to explain the process of filing a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, step by step.
- Aggressive Representation: An attorney can offer you aggressive representation, fighting for a fair settlement on your behalf to compensate for personal injury or wrongful death.
- Investigative Skills: Hiring an attorney will give you access to someone who has the skills and resources to investigate Zantac drugmakers and stay up-to-date on new information coming out regarding the link between Zantac and cancer.
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Learn If You Qualify To Sue Zantac Drugmakers
Developing breast cancer, or watching someone you love struggle with breast cancer, may be the most difficult experience of your life. You should never have to face the possibility that your use of a presumably safe drug is what led to your cancer diagnosis.
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Zantac, you are not alone, and you may be eligible to take legal action against Zantac drug manufacturers for their violation of consumer safety protections.
The top-rated attorneys of Florin|Roebig can help. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys to see if you qualify to sue Zantac drug manufacturers.