Zantac may cause liver cancer because of detected levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine products.
As a result, Zantac has been pulled from the shelves of major pharmaceutical retailers across the United States. The medication has also been voluntarily recalled by drugmakers Sanofi and other pharmaceutical manufacturers of ranitidine.
NDMA is a toxic carcinogen, or a chemical that can cause cancer in humans. It was detected in Zantac in September 2019, and the FDA has since urged pharmaceutical companies to test ranitidine products for NDMA and recall any medication with detected levels.
If you have liver cancer and took Zantac for more than a year, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical manufacturers who failed to warn you about the associated health risks.
Why NDMA Is Linked To Liver Cancer
The liver plays a crucial role in how the body functions, and studies suggest that NDMA is very harmful to the liver in both humans and animals. Some people who have been poisoned by unknown levels of NDMA in food or beverages have died as a result of severe liver damage and internal bleeding.
Animals that ingested food, drank water, or breathed air that contained significant levels of NDMA for days or weeks developed liver disease. Lab animals like mice, rats, and hamsters that ingested NDMA for more than several weeks developed liver cancer and further liver damage.
Both the short-term and long-term exposure to NDMA in animals led to internal bleeding and death. While there are no reports of NDMA leading to cancer in humans, researchers and healthcare professionals expect that any exposure to NDMA could cause liver cancer in humans.
Common Causes Of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer is either primary and secondary. Primary liver cancer is when cancer develops in the cells of the liver. Secondary liver cancer occurs when cancer from another part of the body spreads to the liver.
There are two types of primary liver cancer: hepatocellular carcinoma and bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma).
Factors that increase your risk for liver cancer include:
- chronic hepatitis B
- chronic hepatitis C
- heavy alcohol use
- tobacco use
- metabolic syndrome
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Many of these risk factors can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. This occurs when liver tissue is damaged and replaced by scar tissue. As time progresses, cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer.
Who Is Most At-Risk Of Developing Liver Cancer?
Certain races or ethnic groups are more at risk of developing liver cancer than others. The rates of primary liver cancer are highest among Asians and Pacific Islanders. This is followed by American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, African Americans, and Whites.
The more common primary liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, is diagnosed more in men than it is in women. Baby boomers, or people born between 1945 and 1965, are at a high risk for contracting a hepatitis C infection, which also puts them at risk for liver cancer.
Symptoms Of Liver Cancer
To avoid the cancer from spreading, as well as to catch tumors before they metastasize, it’s important to spot the symptoms of liver cancer. This is especially true if you’ve taken Zantac for long periods of time, which can increase your risk of developing cancer.
Symptoms of primary liver cancer in adults include:
- hard lump on right-side (just below rib cage)
- swollen abdomen
- upper abdomen discomfort on right side
- pain near right shoulder blade; back pain
- yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- easy bleeding or bruising
- unusual weakness or tiredness
- vomiting and nausea
- weight loss or loss of appetite; feeling full after a small meal
- chalky bowel movements or dark urine
Although there is a long list of symptoms associated with liver cancer, symptoms may not be noticeable until the cancer is advanced. This makes liver cancer difficult to diagnose and treat.
What To Do If You Have Liver Cancer And Have Taken Zantac
You can lower your risk of developing liver cancer by getting a hepatitis B vaccine and treating any signs of viral hepatitis. If you experience any signs of liver cancer or disease, consult with your physician immediately. The earlier you receive a diagnosis, the better your treatment outcomes can be.
After talking to your doctor, consider filing a Zantac lawsuit if you took the medication for more than a year and were diagnosed with liver cancer. Due to detected levels of NDMA in ranitidine products, you can file a lawsuit against Zantac manufacturers for failing to warn you about the associated risk of liver cancer.
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Zantac Multidistrict Litigation
The drugmakers of Zantac and ranitidine are facing more than 140 lawsuits that have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDL is a federal legal procedure that speeds up the complexity of similar cases. One U.S. District Judge in Florida will oversee pretrial matters involving Zantac lawsuits.
Lawyers and other professionals involved in the cases suspect this is just the beginning of claims filed against Zantac manufacturers. If you have any reason to believe Zantac played a role in your liver cancer, consult with an attorney who can help evaluate your case.
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Contact Florin|Roebig For Help Filing A Zantac Lawsuit
Zantac was supposed to be a safe and harmless medication designed to treat and prevent heartburn. However, it’s expected that thousands of people will come forward with claims that state they should have been warned about the potentially cancer-causing chemical in Zantac.
To see if you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit, contact the offices of Florin|Roebig. Our team of experienced dangerous drug attorneys offer free case evaluations. To see if you’re eligible to file a Zantac claim, contact our offices today.