After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an impurity in certain Zantac products in September 2019, many doctors and individuals who have taken Zantac reacted with alarm.
During routine testing of ranitidine (generic Zantac) in June 2019, Zantac was found to contain unsafe levels of a probable human carcinogen known as NDMA. Overexposure to NDMA has shown to increase the risk for developing various cancers.
The FDA has stated that not all Zantac products are believed to be contaminated with too much NDMA. However, some research on how Zantac works in the human body suggests that the issue is not so much a contamination in certain Zantac products as much as a function of how ingesting the drug can cause chemicals within Zantac to produce excessive amounts of NDMA.
The difference between whether certain Zantac products were contaminated with NDMA or whether it’s an issue of the drug’s chemical structure may have important implications for the outcomes of lawsuits being filed against Zantac manufacturers.
Zantac And Cancer: Is There A Link?
Zantac is a brand name for the generic drug, ranitidine. It belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 (histamine-2) blockers, which reduce the production of stomach acid in the body.
Zantac is primarily used to treat heartburn caused by stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus. It’s also used to treat other gastric and acid reflux issues and the prevention or treatment of ulcers.
As a drug that is widely used across the world, learning that it may be linked to cancer has made use of the drug a significant concern. Concern about whether Zantac can cause or increase risk for cancer is due to the recent discovery of a cancer-causing agent (NDMA) in certain Zantac products.
NDMA is a chemical that can be found in many common places, including some smoked meats, contaminated water, and some cosmetic and cleaning products. The FDA recommends that humans ingest no more than 96 nanograms of NDMA per day.
Several rounds of testing Zantac by both the FDA and other researchers have consistently shown unsafe amounts of NDMA present in these products. The first company to find NDMA in Zantac, Valisure, discovered amounts that were over 31,000 times higher than FDA-recommended limit in the ranitidine products tested.
The primary types of cancer linked to NDMA in Zantac include:
- stomach (gastric) cancer
- kidney cancer
- liver cancer
- lung cancer
- esophageal cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- bladder cancer
Risk Of Getting Cancer After Taking Zantac
It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who has ever taken Zantac will develop cancer from taking the drug. Research from Harvard Medical School states that Zantac may only lead to cancer after high exposure to large doses over a great length of time.
If you or a loved one has taken Zantac irregularly, and not for a long period of time, it’s less likely you will be at an increased risk for cancer based on your Zantac use. Cancer has a variety of risk factors, many of which are unrelated to the use of certain drugs.
The primary population of concern is people who have taken Zantac more than twice a week for months or years. Continually being exposed to excessive amounts of NDMA can lead to a greater buildup of this carcinogen in the body.
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What To Do If You’re Worried About Getting Cancer After Taking Zantac
People who have been taking Zantac long-term are believed to be at the greatest risk for a possible cancer diagnosis due to the carcinogenic effects of NDMA in Zantac.
However, if you’ve taken Zantac for any amount of time and are concerned about your cancer risk, consider taking the following steps:
Speak To Your Doctor
The best person to determine your risk for developing cancer after taking Zantac is a doctor who is knowledgeable about your medical history. Depending on how often you took Zantac and other factors, your doctor may be able to determine whether taking Zantac has increased your risk for cancer.
If you are currently taking Zantac for a health condition and are worried about getting cancer, do not stop taking the drug. This may cause withdrawal and a relapse of your condition. Your doctor can help you find a safe alternative to Zantac that meets your medical needs.
Contact An Attorney
The primary manufacturer of Zantac products, Sanofi U.S., has issued a voluntary recall of their Zantac products. However, this does not excuse them from liability for the potential harm they exposed consumers to in failing to warn the government, doctors, and the public about the NDMA in their drugs.
If you’ve taken Zantac on a regular basis and are concerned about your risk for cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Sanofi and other Zantac drugmakers for personal injury.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with cancer, you may still qualify to join others in suing the Zantac drugmakers on the grounds that they produced, marketed, and have profited from the sale of dangerous drugs. Joining a class action Zantac lawsuit may help you recover money spent on the drugs and help you seek justice for being exposed to this risk of unlawful harm.
Individuals who have already developed cancer after taking Zantac products, or have lost a loved one to cancer, may wish to file an individual lawsuit to be grouped into multidistrict litigation. This can allow you and your attorney to negotiate your own settlement based on the extent of your damages and receive the payout.
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Learn If You Qualify To Sue Zantac Manufacturers
Don’t wait to learn if you qualify. The attorneys of Florin|Roebig can determine your eligibility for seeking justice against Zantac drugmakers who produced and sold potentially cancerous drugs to the public.
If you contact our office, we can schedule for you a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case and your eligibility for filing a lawsuit. Call us today to get in touch with one of our award-winning attorneys who have been following the updates on recent Zantac lawsuits.