Ranitidine is a commonly used drug that is available over-the-counter and by prescription in the United States to treat heart-burn, acid reflux, and other similar conditions. One of the most common brand names for ranitidine is Zantac.
For years, it has been one of the top 50 drugs taken by individuals in the United States and is distributed in countries across the globe.
The popularity of ranitidine products laid the foundation for significant alarm when, in September of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement announcing that certain ranitidine products have been linked to dangerous levels of a cancer-causing chemical known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
Since this announcement, several top manufacturers of ranitidine drugs have issued voluntary recalls for Zantac products being distributed in the United States. Across the globe, numerous countries—including Canada— have gone even further, issuing mandatory recalls of all ranitidine products to take them off the market.
The strength of the link between Zantac use and cancer is still being investigated by the FDA. However, there’s already evidence to support that certain ranitidine products are capable of producing amounts of NDMA in the body that are high enough to cause cancer.
The cancerous ingredient in Zantac, NDMA, is primarily linked to certain types of cancers. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, the attorneys of Florin|Roebig may be able to help you take legal action.
Reasons People Take Zantac (Ranitidine)
Zantac belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 (histamine-2) blockers. Drugs like ranitidine work in the body by blocking the production of acid in the stomach, relieving heartburn, inflammation, and preventing or treating ulcers.
In 2017, there were over 16 million prescriptions written for the drug, ranitidine. This does not necessarily account for all individuals who used OTC Zantac products. Prescribed forms of Zantac (ranitidine) have consistently ranked as one of the top 60 prescribed drugs in the United States in the last decade.
How Was NDMA Detected In Ranitidine?
The FDA released its first statement informing the public of the potential link between ranitidine and cancer on September 13, 2019. This statement was initially informed by test results that came out of the laboratory of the pharmaceutical company, Valisure.
During a routine testing of ranitidine batches, Valisure discovered that one of the chemicals in Zantac, NDMA, possesses an instability that allows it to generate extremely high levels of the chemical in the body when taken.
This finding is reflected in multiple studies that have shown similarly high amounts of NDMA in people who have taken ranitidine products. Valisure notified the FDA of their initial findings in June 2019, which established a link between certain Zantac products and several types of cancer.
This link is tied to the presence of NDMA in ranitidine products, a chemical that can be cancerous when ingested in excess of the FDA’s safe daily intake. The FDA daily intake limit for NDMA is no more than 96 nanograms (ng).
Valisure’s laboratory discovered that taking ranitidine products can produce NDMA levels in the body that are 3,000 to 31,000 times higher than the FDA intake limit.
Types Of Cancer Linked To Ranitidine (Generic Zantac)
The cancerous chemical found in Zantac (ranitidine) products, NDMA, has been linked to several different types of cancers.
The primary types of cancer linked to excessive NDMA ingestion include:
- stomach cancer
- liver cancer
- breast cancer
- lung cancer
- pancreas cancer
- tongue cancer
- kidney cancer
- esophagus cancer
- bladder cancer
In addition to cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that excessive exposure to NDMA can also cause liver damage and lead to symptoms such as headache, yellow-tinted skin (jaundice), vomiting, dizziness, and decreased kidney functioning.
Cancer Caused By Ranitidine: Who Is At Risk?
The answer to this is unclear. According to Harvard Medical School, NDMA “may cause cancer only after exposure to high doses over a long period of time.” However, the company that first detected the excessive NDMA in Zantac products, Valisure, has stated that, “all manufacturers, brand or generic, and all lots of ranitidine-containing medications are affected and could generate very high levels of NDMA in the human body.”
At this time, the FDA does not believe that every person who has taken Zantac is necessarily at risk for developing cancer.
In response to the alarming research out of Valisure and other laboratories, several major pharmaceutical companies have issued voluntary recalls of their Zantac and ranitidine products—including multiple defendants named in recent Zantac lawsuits.
The amount of people affected by the cancer-causing ranitidine products is still unknown and under investigation by the FDA. If you’re concerned about your cancer risk, or that of a loved one who takes ranitidine, do not stop taking your prescription.
Talk to your doctor about your risk for cancer following exposure to ranitidine. Your doctor can help you switch to a safer alternative, depending on the type of condition you are treating.
Lawsuits Against Ranitidine Manufacturers
Thousands of individuals across the U.S. have joined class action and multidistrict lawsuits against ranitidine drugmakers for their failure to protect the safety of consumers and properly warn individuals of the health risks associated with taking their drugs.
These lawsuits are generally being filed on account of negligence, which is a legal theory in personal injury law that allows injured victims to hold defendants liable for injuries sustained as a result of the defendant’s reckless or negligent behavior.
In the context of these latest Zantac lawsuits, negligence is being defined as: failing to inform the government, prescribing physicians, and broader public of the potentially cancerous effects of their drugs.
An additional investigation is currently underway into whether the drugmakers were aware of the cancer risk and, despite knowing the health risks, willfully withheld information about drug side effects—exposing individuals to potentially cancerous drugs for their own gain.
Understanding the intention behind pharma companies’ failure to warn the public carries important implications for whether they can then be charged for intentional wrongdoing.
The difference between this and negligence is that negligence does not always have to be intentional, whereas intentional wrongdoing is undertaken with malicious or otherwise willful intent.
Our Featured Case Results
Taking Legal Action Against Ranitidine (Zantac) Manufacturers
Since the FDA’s first statement on the carcinogenic effects of ranitidine products, several class action and multidistrict lawsuits have been filed against top Zantac drug makers—including drugmakers Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer.
Some law firms have also publicly called out the FDA for failing to recognize and inform the public of the cancer risk earlier on, when multiple studies from the last decade have already provided evidence of NDMA’s instability in ranitidine and its carcinogenic effects.
How To File A Lawsuit Against Ranitidine (Zantac) Manufacturers
Two common questions that people who have taken Zantac are facing in response to this recent news is how and if they can take legal action against ranitidine drug manufacturers.
The best way to determine your eligibility for taking legal action against Zantac drug makers is to contact a skilled Zantac attorney.
Most people who are suing Zantac are doing so as a result of being diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac—or on behalf of a loved one who took Zantac, developed cancer, and passed away.
However, you do not necessarily have to have developed cancer to take legal action against Zantac makers. The type of legal action you are eligible to take may depend on the types of costs you are seeking to recover as a result of your or a loved one’s Zantac use.
The two primary ways in which individuals are pursuing legal action against Zantac pharma companies are through class action and multidistrict litigation lawsuits.
Zantac Class Action Lawsuits vs. Zantac Multidistrict Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits refer to single lawsuits that represent groups—or a class—of members who have been unlawfully harmed by a person, product, or service. This harm may include personal injury, damage to reputation, and wrongful death.
The latest Zantac class action lawsuits, however, are limited in the types of costs they allow individuals to recover. It’s also important to understand that in joining a class action, any compensation secured through a favorable outcome will be divided equally among all members.
If you are primarily looking to recover money spent on the drug, you might consider joining a ranitidine class action lawsuit. However, if you’re seeking compensation for more significant expenses, such as medical treatment costs, pain and suffering, and expenses resulting from the death of a loved one—you may find greater benefit in filing a Zantac multidistrict lawsuit.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Find Help Filing A Zantac (Ranitidine) Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking ranitidine, you may be able to recover compensation to help cover medical expenses and compensate for the pain you have suffered.
The top-rated personal injury attorneys of Florin|Roebig have the skills and knowledge to expertly handle your case against ranitidine drug manufacturers and help you recover compensation for your losses.
At Florin|Roebig, our legal duties are in the service of helping the people who have been hurt by these carcinogenic drugs. Don’t wait to start taking legal action against the ranitidine drug manufacturers who have profited from selling cancer-causing drugs to the public.
Call the offices of Florin|Roebig today to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case with one of our top Zantac attorneys.