You may have heard by now that last year, popular heartburn drug Zantac, also known by its generic name ranitidine, was found to be associated with cancer-causing components. What does this mean for you and your loved ones who have been prescribed the drug in the past? Our Fishkill Zantac lawsuit attorney explains.
What Is Ranitidine (Zantac)?
Ranitidine, known by its brand name Zantac, belongs to a group of drugs called Histamine-2 (H2) blockers, which limit the production of gastric acid in the stomach. Ranitidine is used to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers, conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, conditions where acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and to heal acid caused damage to the lining of the esophagus. Ranitidine is available by prescription and over the counter (OTC) and comes in the forms of a capsule or tablet, syrup, injection, and powder for oral suspension.
Ranitidine (Zantac) Recall
In September of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detected a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications, commonly known by the brand name Zantac. The EPA classifies NDMA as a probable human carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer. The FDA determined that when stored under normal conditions, the NDMA found in some ranitidine products increased over time, and when stored at higher than room temperature, the NDMA significantly increased, risking exposure of unacceptable levels of the contaminant to consumers. Additionally, tests revealed a correlation between how old a ranitidine product was and the level of NDMA found within it.
As a result, the FDA requested a market withdrawal of ranitidine products, making it unavailable for over the counter (OTC) or prescription use in the U.S. Further, the FDA advised that those in possession of OTC ranitidine should immediately discontinue use of these products, and those taking ranitidine in prescription form should speak with their health care provider concerning alternative treatment methods.
Ranitidine (Zantac) And N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) Risks
Even prior to the discovery of the carcinogen NDMA in ranitidine (Zantac) products, there were health risks associated with the drug, as is the case with many regularly prescribed OTC medications.
Common side effects of ranitidine include:
Ranitidine can also cause more serious side such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Dark urine
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Cough with mucus
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- A faster or slower heart rate
NDMA exposure in humans and animals has caused liver damage and can be fatal in large amounts, and studies have shown that it can potentially harm a human fetus when ingested. Studies have also shown that NDMA exposure may lead to stomach cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Ranitidine (Zantac) Lawsuit
Following the 2019 reveal that ranitidine (Zantac) products can potentially cause cancer, a complaint filed against a number of defendants, including the manufacturer of Zantac, alleged, among other things, that Zantac is “defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce, and lacked proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use.”
On February 6th, the MDL panel created an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, in the Southern District of Florida to coordinate the increasing Zantac lawsuits, prevent inconsistent rulings, and conserve party resources.
If you or someone you know took ranitidine (Zantac) and has been diagnosed with cancer as a result, we are here to help. Contact our Fishkill Zantac lawsuit attorney today by calling (845) 875-4442 or writing to us online. Our firm is currently accepting new clients.
- Ranitidine, Oral Tablet—Healthline
- FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) from the Market—FDA News Release
- N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)—World Health Organization
In re: Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation