Zantac (ranitidine) is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States, prescribed an estimated 15 million times each year. It is primarily used as a short- and long-term treatment for ulcers, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement reporting unsafe levels of NDMA, a cancerous chemical found in Zantac and ranitidine products. Overexposure to this chemical has been linked to a variety of health issues, including liver disease, reduced kidney function, and various cancers.
The likelihood of developing liver disease after taking Zantac is unknown at this time. However, there’s evidence to support that the NDMA found in Zantac may lead to an increased risk for developing liver issues.
If you or a loved one has taken Zantac regularly for a health condition and developed serious liver problems, you may be eligible to join others in suing Zantac drugmakers to seek compensation.
Effects Of NDMA In Zantac On The Liver
The primary cause of liver disease found in common Zantac products is the ingredient, NDMA, which is a chemical that has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a probable human carcinogen.
The FDA-recommended daily limit for NDMA is 96 nanograms, an amount determined to be safe for humans. Recent testing of Zantac products, however, has shown Zantac containing amounts of NDMA that are 3,000 to 31,000 times higher than this, containing over 3,000,000 ng per tablet.
The liver is one of the organs believed to be harmed by overexposure to NDMA, as one of the primary organs responsible for processing harmful toxins and drugs in the body.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to high levels of NDMA can cause effects on the liver that include:
- liver disease
- enlarged liver
- reduced liver function
- liver cancer
Previous Evidence Of Liver Damage Caused By Zantac
Multiple studies dating back decades have evidenced a modest link between Zantac use and negative effects on the liver.
According to the senior author of one study published in the journal, Nature Connections, which looked at the link between gastric reflux medications and chronic liver disease, any drug that reduces the production of stomach acid in the body (like Zantac) has the potential to cause changes in gut bacteria that could affect the progression of chronic liver disease.
Along with Zantac, this may include acid-reducing drugs such as:
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Tagamet (cimetidine)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
The same researcher, Bernd Schnabl, M.D., stated that, “the recent rise in use of gastric acid-suppressing medications might have contributed to the increased incidence of chronic liver disease,” when accompanied by other personal and lifestyle-related risk factors.
How NDMA Was Discovered In Zantac
The FDA first announced the discovery of NDMA in Zantac in September 2019 after being notified of the issue by the company, Valisure, which detected NDMA in ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac, during routine product testing.
Valisure reported findings of highly elevated amounts of NDMA in ranitidine in July 2019, after which the FDA conducted its own testing of Zantac products. How NDMA came to be in Zantac is currently a subject of dispute.
While the FDA maintains that certain Zantac products have been contaminated with NDMA, Valisure and other researchers claim that it is an instability of Zantac’s chemical structure that causes the body to produce high amounts of NDMA after taking it.
Although the FDA has not issued a mandatory recall of Zantac products over safety concerns, more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies that produce ranitidine products have voluntarily issued their own recalls of Zantac products.
This includes the pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi U.S., which is the primary manufacturer of over-the-counter Zantac products such as Zantac 150 Cool Mint, Zantac 150, and Zantac 75.
Consequences Of Liver Disease
Important to understand in determining a potential link between Zantac and liver disease is the consequences this can have on a person’s long-term health and wellbeing.
Liver disease is typically described as a progressive disease, characterized by several stages. The first stage of liver disease, fibrosis, is characterized by a scarring of the liver, which can occur when inflammation of the liver goes untreated.
Fibrosis can then progress to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and end-stage liver disease—a severe form of liver disease that can have debilitating effects on health and may require a liver transplant.
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is very common in people who abuse alcohol for an extended amount of time. However, it has also been linked to the use of certain drugs, or regularly mixing certain drugs with alcohol.
Signs, symptoms, and consequences of liver disease may include:
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- vomiting blood
- buildup of fluid in the belly and legs (swelling)
- bursting blood vessels
- severe itching of the skin
- kidney failure
- weight loss
- excessive fatigue
- type 2 diabetes
- mental confusion
- liver failure
The medical consequences of liver disease, and the types of treatment required to prevent its progression, can become very costly. People who develop serious, chronic liver disease may have a difficult time keeping a job, may suffer job loss, or struggle with other health problems due to the stress of living with liver disease.
Attorneys across the United States, including the attorneys of Florin|Roebig, are currently investigating the risk of liver disease and cancers among those who have taken Zantac, and whether drugmakers were aware of these risks before marketing their products.
If our findings demonstrate evidence that supports Zantac as a probable cause of liver disease in those who take it, the manufacturers responsible for producing and marketing Zantac may be held liable for their failure to properly warn consumers about these serious health risks.
Will I Develop Liver Disease After Taking Zantac?
Not everyone who has taken Zantac is believed to be at risk for serious health problems. The primary population of concern is people who have taken Zantac on a regular basis (twice or more a week) for months or years.
Research on the effects of NDMA indicates that it’s only prolonged exposure to toxic amounts of NDMA that may lead to serious adverse side effects, like liver disease or cancer.
If you’re concerned about your risk for liver disease, or that of a loved one, speak to your doctor as soon as possible to determine appropriate assessment and disease prevention strategies.
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What To Do If You’ve Developed Liver Disease After Taking Zantac
Many people who have developed serious health problems after taking Zantac are filing lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies who have profited from the sales of these drugs.
If you’ve taken Zantac long-term, it’s important that you get professional input in order to determine your risk for liver disease, the probable cause of your current liver disease, and whether you’re eligible to file a lawsuit against Zantac drugmakers.
If you or a loved one has developed liver disease after taking Zantac, consider the following steps:
Talk To Your Doctor
If you’ve developed liver disease after taking Zantac long-term for a health condition, your doctor might be able to offer unique insight into whether they believe your Zantac use could have caused your liver disease.
This can be done by assessing your medical history, determining other risk factors you may possess, and staying up-to-date on the latest evidence coming out of the Zantac cancer and liver disease investigations.
Contact An Attorney
Thousands of people across the U.S. are filing lawsuits against Zantac drugmakers for their failure to detect all health risks linked to the use of their drugs, or to otherwise disclose this information to the government, doctors, and the broader public.
If you or a loved one has developed serious health issues like liver disease after regularly taking Zantac, it might be in your best interest to speak to an experienced attorney who has been following the recent Zantac lawsuit cases.
Based on the details of your case, an experienced attorney can help you by:
- determining your eligibility for suing Zantac drugmakers
- determining whether it’s in your best interest to file an individual lawsuit or join a class action
- identifying recoverable damages based on the extent of your losses
- investigating the intent of Zantac drugmakers and how many people have been affected by the NDMA in Zantac
- explaining each step of the lawsuit process to you, step by step
- fighting for a settlement that awards fair monetary compensation
- helping you seek justice for Zantac-related health problems sustained by yourself or a loved one
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Find A Zantac Attorney Near You
Dealing with the consequences of learning your liver disease may be tied to your use of a presumably safe drug is not a struggle you have to face alone.
The attorneys of Florin|Roebig have extensive experience fighting for individuals who have been unlawfully harmed by companies large and small. Our team of award-winning legal professionals have been following the latest Zantac news and have the skills to provide effective representation in a class action or Zantac multidistrict lawsuit.
Our attorneys are based out of offices in Florida, Texas, Colorado, and Minnesota. Don’t wait to learn if you qualify to sue Zantac drugmakers for negligence. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated Zantac attorneys to discuss the details of your case.