Pulled from pharmacy shelves and recalled by various drug manufacturers, Zantac has come under increased scrutiny after a possible human carcinogen was detected in the medication.
With a surge of information coming out about lawsuits, health scares, and other issues, it’s important to determine what it means for you. While you may feel concerned if you have taken Zantac regularly, it’s crucial to stay informed and understand your legal options.
Zantac, or generic ranitidine, was discovered to contain unsafe levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in September of 2019. If you’ve taken Zantac for extended periods of time, and have since been diagnosed with cancer, you may be eligible to file a Zantac lawsuit.
Zantac Lawsuits: What You Need To Know
Zantac is one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. It’s used to treat heartburn and other issues related to gastric acid. It’s estimated that two million Americans take Zantac on a regular basis each year. Individuals who took Zantac regularly are at the highest risk of suffering adverse health effects, including cancer.
Since the discovery of NDMA in ranitidine, there have been hundreds of lawsuits filed against the pharmaceutical companies responsible for making and marketing the drug. Here’s everything you need to know about Zantac litigations and recalls.
The Reason For Zantac Recalls
In 2019, the online pharmacy Valisure detected unsafe levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine products. Valisure reported that ranitidine can form millions of nanograms of NDMA in the human body. The FDA reports that ingesting over 96 nanograms of NDMA a day is unsafe for humans.
Valisure first informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its findings in June. By September, Valisure filed a formal petition with the FDA to recall all ranitidine products.
On September 13, the FDA released a statement that urged drug manufacturers to conduct their own tests and voluntarily recall any ranitidine products that show levels of NDMA. The FDA also suggested that patients talk to their healthcare providers about switching medications.
List Of Zantac Recalls
After the FDA’s statement, a flood of voluntary Zantac recalls occured. The first recall was issued in September 2019, and the latest was reported in late February 2020. The list is ongoing, but check the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts webpage for the most up-to-date information on Zantac recalls.
Here is a list of drug manufacturers who have issued voluntary Zantac recalls:
- Sandoz Inc on 9/23/19
- Apotex Corp. on 9/25/19
- Perrigo Company on 10/23/19
- Dr. Reddy’s, Kroger, Walgreens, and others on 10/23/19
- Lannett Company on 10/25/19
- Novitium Pharma on 10/25/19
- Aurobindo & DG Health on 11/6/19
- AHP on 11/08/19
- GSMS Incorporated on 11/15/19
- PrecisionDose on 11/19/19
- Amneal on 11/22/19
- Glenmark on 12/17/19
- Appco Pharma on 1/7/20
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals on 1/8/20
- American Health Packaging on 2/27/20
Forms Of Zantac That Have Been Recalled
Several Zantac or ranitidine products have been recalled, ranging from ranitidine syrup for babies to Zantac OTC.
Although the exact form of ranitidine will depend on the manufacturer, these are the ranitidine products that have been recalled by various companies:
- ranitidine hydrochloride capsules 150mg and 300mg
- ranitidine tablets 75mg and 150mg
- ranitidine syrup (oral solution USP and 15mg/mL)
- ranitidine liquid unit dose cups
The Defendants In Zantac Lawsuits
If you developed cancer after taking Zantac on a regular basis, you may have the right to file a claim against the drugmakers. In this case, the defendants had the responsibility to adequately warn patients, consumers, and healthcare professionals about NDMA in their products and the associated risk for cancer.
The defendants who have been named in current Zantac lawsuits include:
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC
- Sanofi US Services, Inc.
- Chattem, Inc.
- Boehringer Ingelheim
Liability In A Zantac Lawsuit
Pharmaceutical companies can be held liable in a Zantac lawsuit for two reasons:
- the medication is defective by design
- the medication label failed to warn about potential risks
There is a strict liability standard for pharmaceutical manufacturers to make sure medications are designed to be safe. The testing conducted by Valisure suggests that the molecules found in ranitidine are unstable by design and may convert into NDMA after chemically reacting in the body.
Zantac and ranitidine drug labels should have also included a warning about the possible risk of cancer due to NDMA. If doctors were aware of the potential dangers of the medication, they may not have prescribed Zantac to millions of people. If consumers and patients were aware of the risks, they may have opted for a different medication.
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Types Of Cancer Associated With Zantac
Because the possible human carcinogen NDMA has been detected in ranitidine products, Zantac is now associated with a risk of cancer. Although evidence is scarce about NDMA directly causing cancer in humans, there is other evidence to suggest there is a significant risk to people who take products which contain NDMA, such as Zantac.
Primary types of cancer associated with Zantac or ranitidine use include:
- liver cancer
- stomach cancer
- lung cancer
- bladder cancer
- colorectal cancer
- esophageal cancer
What You Need To Know About NDMA
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is classified as a B2 or likely human carcinogen. NDMA is found in grilled meats and other foods, as well as in contaminated drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supposes that if NDMA has led to cancer in lab animals, then it is likely to cause cancer in humans as well.
Some Zantac lawsuits claim there has been a link between NDMA and ranitidine since the 1980s. These earlier studies suggest that NDMA can form when ranitidine breaks down and reacts to nitrates in the human body. However, the FDA refutes this claim, but admits more research is necessary.
Another study published in 2004 examined people with peptic ulcers. Those who took Zantac or another heartburn medication developed an increased risk of bladder cancer. A 2016 study gave a group of healthy subjects 150mg of Zantac and recorded unsafe levels of NDMA in their urine (over 47,000 nanograms).
Zantac Lawsuit Vs. Valsartan Lawsuit
This isn’t the first time NDMA levels in medication have led to recalls and lawsuits. Unsafe levels of NDMA were also detected in a blood pressure medication called valsartan in 2018.
Valsartan lawsuits alleged that a fault or error in the manufacturing process was responsible for contaminating the medication with NDMA. Zantac lawsuits, however, allege that the formation of NDMA is linked to the inherent molecular structure of ranitidine.
Lawyers and other legal experts predict that litigation involving Zantac will include significantly more cases and claims than valsartan litigation.
How To File A Zantac Lawsuit In Texas
You can file a Zantac lawsuit to receive financial compensation if you developed cancer after taking Zantac.
To qualify for a Zantac lawsuit in Texas, you’ll need to show three things:
- you took Zantac or ranitidine
- you were diagnosed with cancer
- there is a connection between your cancer diagnosis and Zantac use
To help determine your eligibility in a Zantac lawsuit, consult with a lawyer in Texas. A lawyer can help you sort through the specific details of your case with a free case evaluation.
Texas Zantac Personal Injury Lawsuits
Many Zantac lawsuits will be personal injury claims. Any kind of injury or damage to your well-being is considered personal injury under the law. The goal of a Zantac personal injury lawsuit is to collect damages, or financial compensation, for any harm you suffered as a result of taking Zantac.
With a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will help you prove that ranitidine drug manufacturers are liable for the damages you suffered. This is shown by proving negligence, which means the drugmaker had the duty to protect you from harm, failed to protect you, and this failure caused you injury.
In other words, pharmaceutical companies should have warned you about the risks for cancer.
Texas Zantac Wrongful Death Claims
If someone you loved took Zantac regularly, developed cancer, and passed away as the result of their cancer, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Zantac wrongful death claims, which also fall under personal injury law, must prove that the death was the result of the drug manufacturer’s negligence.
Texas Zantac Class Action Lawsuits
There are several class action lawsuits being filed in various states, including Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, Florida, and Connecticut, while more are expected in additional states as the effects of Zantac are brought to light. These lawsuits include plaintiffs who are trying to get their money back for buying Zantac and other ranitidine products.
With a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs can only collect compensation for the money they spent on the medication. These plaintiffs did not develop cancer from Zantac, and do not wish to collect damages for other suffering the medication caused. Plaintiffs who were sick filed individual lawsuits that will eventually be consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Zantac Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidates individual cases in order to streamline pretrial proceedings for courts. Unlike class action lawsuits, MDL suits keep individual cases separate. This way, individual damages can be awarded for each case.
As of early 2020, several Zantac cases have joined a MDL in the Southern District of Florida. These cases are overseen by a U.S. District Judge. The judge will eventually allow several of these cases to go to trial. The first cases will become bellwether trials for Zantac lawsuits, which set the stage for future settlements and rulings.
Zantac Lawsuit Attorneys Serving Texas And The U.S.
After receiving medical guidance about treatment and care from your doctor, consider your options for legal action. You may have a legitimate case against the pharmaceutical companies who manufactured Zantac and other ranitidine products.
At Florin|Roebig, our team of qualified Zantac lawyers includes:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Brian R. Dettman, O.C.
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Contact Florin|Roebig Today
As a multi-state litigation firm, we represent clients throughout the state of Texas. We operate a consultation office in Dallas that can assess your Zantac claim. We also offer a free case evaluation to help you decide if moving forward with a Zantac lawsuit is in your best interest.
For more information on Zantac litigation in Texas, or to get started with your free case evaluation, contact the offices of Florin|Roebig today.