In April of 2020, the FDA announced a total recall of all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs. This order, which instructed stores to immediately remove these products from shelves, is the latest in a series of cautions surrounding Zantac and other ranitidine-based drugs. For decades, Zantac and similar medications have been used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and peptic ulcer disease. They may have also been slowly exposing patients to a dangerous chemical: Ranitidine medications, researchers found, are susceptible to becoming contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a carcinogen.
Those who only used Zantac for a short period of time are likely safe—but as the drug was meant to treat lasting conditions, many patients relied on it for years. These individuals likely had elevated levels of NDMA in their bloodstream during that time. Even at relatively low levels, long-term exposure to NDMA has been linked to cancer. This is why many Zantac users are now concerned.
If you or someone you love received an alarming cancer diagnosis after continued Zantac use, you may be able to file a claim for compensation.
Understanding Zantac’s Links to Cancer
We’re all exposed to small amounts of NDMA each day, and though most states don’t require foods or medications to warn for extremely low levels, there is no amount of the chemical considered “safe” to be around. However, the length and severity of exposure are both important factors when considering risk; more is worse. This is why regular Zantac users may now be at a higher risk of cancer.
The problem with ranitidine-based drugs is inherent to the molecule itself. Ranitidine may break down over time, researchers found, in conditions including:
- Storage at room temperature
- Transport or handling at warmer temperatures
- In environments mimicking the pH and temperature of the stomach
- When in contact with water
One of the compounds that results from this decay is NDMA. Zantac, in other words, could create contaminants that are dangerous to humans. The FDA found the longer ranitidine products are left on the shelf, the greater NDMA levels are likely to be. Higher storage temperatures also accelerate the production of NDMA.
This also means, contrary to drugmakers’ claims of a one-time contamination incident, every batch of these medications could expose patients to dangerous levels of NDMA. There are no reports of ranitidine medications causing NDMA poisoning, but the compound can change DNA—meaning once it reaches the bloodstream, it can cause dangerous mutations in any organ.
NDMA has been linked to cancers of the:
- Nasal Passage
- Small Intestine
Though with less frequency, researchers have also suggested it may be a contributor in cases of:
- Early-onset prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma
Anyone longtime Zantac user who has been diagnosed with one of these conditions should call our attorneys today.
We Can Help You File a Zantac Lawsuit
Despite making billions in profit, pharmaceutical giants seem unable to fully test the medications they put on the market. The prevalence of dangerous drugs puts unknowing consumers at risk of severe and sometimes fatal illnesses. A company like Sanofi that releases a harmful drug into the market must answer for its choice: Either it’s neglecting to fund complete studies or it’s misleading the public regarding the benefits and risks of its medications. Whatever the cause of its negligence, consumers have the right to recourse if they’re injured by unsafe products.
Anyone who has developed a serious disease due to a medication has the right to file a suit for compensation. With a lawsuit, you could be eligible to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Not only does filing a claim give you a chance for reparations in the one language Big Pharma understands—money—but it also can help you access the treatment you need. Having a financial cushion can help relieve stress when big medical bills roll in, meaning you can spend more time and energy on your health.
Our team has taken on big companies before. We’re not afraid to fight against corporate lawyers with deep pockets, because we know we’re standing up for what’s right. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after using Zantac or another ranitidine-based heartburn drug, reach out to our attorneys to see if you might be able to receive compensation. You need a team who will do everything they can to help you pursue a fair settlement.
Call our Nationwide attorneys at 816-888-8888 if you think you have a claim regarding Zantac. We are here to help.