In September 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found low levels of a cancer-causing chemical in Zantac, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. The FDA urged patients who take over-the-counter Zantac to think about changing to another mediation.
The generic drug in Zantac, ranitidine, is used to treat heartburn, indigestion, and other stomach acid issues. It was sold throughout the United States by retailers such as Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens. It’s crucial you understand the risks involved with taking Zantac so you can make the best choice for your health.
What You Should Do If You Take Zantac
The FDA has not explicitly told consumers or patients to stop taking Zantac. However, they have suggested that patients consult with their healthcare provider about potential alternatives. If you take a form of over-the-counter ranitidine or Zantac or another form of ranitidine, consider taking another OTC heartburn medication.
Although simply taking one dose of Zantac isn’t likely to cause cancer, it may be best to err on the side of caution. This is particularly true for individuals who take Zantac on a regular basis. If you or someone you know takes Zantac every day, then toxic impurities can build up in your body and increase your risk of cancer.
Why Was Zantac Taken Off The Market?
After you take a dose of Zantac, chemical reactions in your body may lead to the creation of a cancer-causing chemical. This makes it difficult for laboratory tests to determine the risk in human beings, since the danger may occur after you ingest it and the drug reacts to your body.
The cancer-causing chemical found in ranitidine is called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA. You may have heard of NDMA if you followed another drug recall case involving Valsartran. NDMA is a nitrosamine, which is thought to be a human carcinogen. A carcinogen is a substance that can lead to various cancers, including bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, and others.
What Does The FDA Say About Quitting Zantac?
The FDA originally suggested you consult with your health care professional and consider switching heartburn medications. Eventually, the FDA pulled all ranitidine products from the market. The timeline is as follows:
- In December 2019, the FDA urged any company manufacturing ranitidine to conduct their own lab testing for NDMA and send it to the FDA for analysis.
- Early 2020, ranitidine was voluntarily recalled by prescription drug companies Appco Pharma LLC and Northwind Pharmaceuticals.
- April 1, 2020 the FDA requested that all Zantac and ranitidine products be pulled from the market effective immediately. The FDA stated, “…that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperature and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.”
What Are Alternatives To Taking Zantac?
Zantac (ranitidine) is an H2 blocker, which is essentially a preventative medication that fights off stomach acid. Viable treatment options for fighting heartburn may include:
- H2 blockers such as like Pepcid (famotidine), Axid (nizatidine), and Tagamet (cimetidine)
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium (esomeprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole)
You could also take measures to reduce your risk of heartburn by making lifestyle changes.
Think about avoiding anything that can cause an acid reflux, including:
- large meals or overeating
- eating high-fat or spicy foods
- eating late at night
- smoking or drinking alcohol
Our Featured Case Results
What To Do If Zantac Made You Sick
Unfortunately, you or someone you know may have developed cancer after taking Zantac over many years. After receiving medical advice for your condition, you may be frustrated that you took medication that may have contributed to a chronic illness.
If you or someone you love suffered loss or injury as a result of taking Zantac, you have three options for legal recourse:
- wrongful death lawsuit
- class action lawsuit
- multidistrict litigation
Wrongful death lawsuits go after negligent parties, such as drug manufacturers failing to warn people about potential risks, that lead or contribute to a person’s death.
Class action lawsuits involve an attorney or a team of attorneys representing a group of people who have suffered losses from the same drug or product.
Although a class action or wrongful death lawsuit may apply to your situation, multidistrict litigation may be your likeliest pursuit. Since Zantac lawsuits are affecting large numbers of people, court systems use multidistrict litigation to better manage the multiple civil cases brought forward.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Contact Florin|Roebig For A Free Zantac Case Evaluation
Many dangerous drug cases end up in multidistrict litigation. This may be the most effective way for you to collect damages for the harm you suffered. If you believe ranitidine drugs may have led to cancer in you or someone you love, contact Florin|Roebig for a confidential and free case evaluation today.