In fall 2019, researchers found high levels of a human carcinogen in the common heartburn medication, Zantac (ranitidine).
To date, dozens of lawsuits are set to be filed against Zantac drugmakers (many in Florida) for failing to warn pharmacists, manufacturers, and the general public of the heartburn drug’s potential link to cancer. Drugmakers who are being named in Zantac lawsuits include Sanofi and Valsartan.
High levels of the cancer-causing agent, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), can lead to increased risk for cancer in humans. Since Zantac was found to lead to high levels of NDMA once ingested, people who may be at risk for developing pancreatic cancer and other forms of cancer after taking Zantac include those who take the drug long-term.
Zantac has been one of the top medications used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), high blood pressure, and other heartburn-related conditions for decades.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested in April 2020 that all Zantac products be pulled from distributor shelves, such as Walmart and CVS. This included the brand name and generic ranitidine over the counter (OTC) medications and prescription Zantac.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and believe regular use of Zantac may have contributed to it, you may have options for seeking recourse.
Learn more about the link between Zantac and pancreatic cancer, what to do if you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after long-term Zantac use, and how to file a Zantac cancer lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
How Zantac (Ranitidine) Is Linked To Cancer
NDMA, an ingredient formerly used in rocket fuel, has historically been shown to be a probable human carcinogen. High levels of NDMA in the human body can lead to greatly increased cancer risk—and an eventual cancer diagnosis.
The primary types of cancer currently linked to Zantac include:
- bladder cancer
- esophageal cancer
- prostate cancer
- breast cancer
- kidney cancer
- stomach cancer
- testicular cancer
- liver cancer
- colorectal cancer
The FDA has released a safe daily intake level for NDMA, since it can be found in many products already consumed by humans, like red meats, other foods, and water.
Yet unacceptable levels of NDMA can contribute to a person’s risk of developing a number of types of cancer, and should be avoided.
Can NDMA In Zantac Cause Pancreatic Cancer?
Ranitidine medications can break down when consumed and lead to high levels of NDMA in the body. Although NDMA is not an active ingredient in the acid reflux medication, regularly ingesting Zantac could lead to the body producing high levels of the carcinogen with time.
At this time, researchers do not directly connect Zantac use to the development of pancreatic cancer or other cancers because NDMA exposure typically occurs at low levels. While Zantac can lead to a myriad of side effects, increased cancer risk was not previously one of them. However, NDMA contamination through the long-term use of Zantac may increase a person’s risk of developing cancer or other health risks.
This was demonstrated through one study which followed rubber workers over a period of years to examine their exposure to nitrosamines, such as NDMA. The study found increased mortality rates in rubber workers who had developed different types of cancer and been exposed to NDMA.
Facts About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancer in the United States, and approximately 7 percent of cancer deaths. It is slightly more common among men than women.
A person’s average risk of getting pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 64, but these chances are affected by certain risk factors or things that can contribute to a person’s risk for developing a certain type of cancer.
Common risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:
- being overweight
- having diabetes
- tobacco use
- chronic pancreatitis
- exposure to some chemicals in the workplace
Other factors that may contribute to a person’s development of pancreatic cancer may be out of their control, such as age, sex, race, family history, or genetic factors.
Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Anyone who suspects they may be showing symptoms of pancreatic cancer should speak with their doctor right away to determine if they should be screened. Symptoms may be different for each person, and early stages of pancreatic cancer may not present symptoms at all.
Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:
- dark urine
- lightly colored or greasy-looking stools
- intensely itchy skin
- jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin)
- pain in the back or abdomen
- weight loss
- lack of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have pancreatic cancer. In fact, each symptom could be the cause of an unrelated condition. For this reason, it’s important to speak to your primary care physician to determine whether you should be screened.
Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates
Survival rates for pancreatic cancer are measured by those who survive for at least five years after being diagnosed. This rate is subjective and typically measures a large group for a specific kind of cancer.
For this reason, it should only be considered for an overall reference point for how likely pancreatic cancer treatment is to be successful.
The current five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer in the U.S. is measured by stages as follows:
- Localized stage: 37 percent
- Regional stage: 12 percent
- Distant stage: 3 percent
- All stages combined: 9 percent
For example, this means that a person who is diagnosed with localized stage pancreatic cancer has a 37 percent chance of survival after five years.
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Does Your Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis Qualify For A Zantac Lawsuit?
It may not be possible to determine whether Zantac was the primary cause of your pancreatic cancer diagnosis. However, you may still be able to file a Zantac cancer lawsuit for damages.
If you took Zantac over an extended period of time and later developed pancreatic cancer, you may have legal grounds for filing a Zantac cancer personal injury lawsuit. Filing a claim for compensation could help you pay for costly medical expenses, pancreatic cancer treatments, and more.
In order to successfully win a Zantac cancer lawsuit, you’ll have to prove that:
- you took Zantac over an extended period of time (months, years, etc.)
- you were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
- your long-term Zantac use contributed to the development of pancreatic cancer
A personal injury lawyer with experience representing dangerous drug lawsuits can offer you an initial free case evaluation to discuss your Zantac use history, medical records, other details of your diagnosis, and explain your legal rights.
Should you decide to file a claim, having an experienced personal injury attorney offering sound legal advice can be crucial to the outcome of your case.
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Filing A Zantac Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit
Taking Zantac for long-term use and developing pancreatic cancer may deem you eligible to file a Zantac cancer lawsuit against drug manufacturers. A Zantac personal injury lawyer can help you build a strong case against the Zantac drugmakers who failed to warn of unacceptable levels of NDMA in the heartburn medication.
Call Florin|Roebig law firm today for a free consultation to discuss your Zantac cancer case and whether you may have a chance at recovering compensation for your losses.