Did you suffer severe side effects as a result of taking the drug Zantac? If so, you could be owed significant compensation. Time is limited to take legal action though, so call an experienced Zantac lawyer right away for help.
If you are one of the 15 million Americans who take prescription ranitidine, or if you’re one of the millions more who take the medication over-the-counter, it’s important that you know about the potential dangers of this popular drug.
Zantac, which is commonly used to treat heartburn, helps fight the body’s overproduction of stomach acid. In 2019, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) was alerted about high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) found in ranitidine, the generic name of Zantac. In response, the FDA conducted testing on the drugs and discovered unacceptable and unsafe levels of NDMA in them. Since 2019, pharmacies throughout the country, including Walgreens and CVS, have been pulling Zantac from their shelves.
In April 2020, the FDA said all manufacturers of ranitidine products should immediately pull their drugs from the market. The FDA also encouraged everyone to stop using ranitidine. FDA pointed out that impurities rise in these drugs over time. The agency also found that even storing Zantac at room temperature can lead to a bump in the NDMA level. NDMA has been linked to a number of serious diseases and cancers, including severe liver disease, liver cancer, and lung cancer.
Millions of Americans have used Zantac for years and not knowing about the risks they were exposing themselves to. Unfortunately, some are now suffering from cancer and other ailments that were likely caused by the drug.
Sanofi, Zantac’s manufacturer, and other ranitidine manufacturers had a duty to make sure that their customers would not suffer harm from using their product. They have failed to meet that responsibility and need to be held accountable for their negligence. Thousands of Zantac lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming years, alleging Zantac causes cancer.
Zantac users who have been diagnosed with cancer after using the medication deserve financial compensation, and an experienced defective pharmaceutical attorney could help you get the justice and money that you are owed.
Possible Link Found Between Zantac and Cancer-Causing Carcinogen
Zantac (ranitidine) is a histamine-2 blocker that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It was available as a syrup, injection, or tablet, and you could obtain it with a prescription or over the counter. Its most common uses were to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and stomach ulcers.
The drug company made $1 billion within the few first years of releasing Zantac to the public. By 2018, it was considered one of the top 10 antacid brands in the country. Unfortunately, lawsuits have been filed claiming that the manufacturer was aware of scientific evidence that their medication contained a dangerous substance that could cause medical problems for users. Despite this knowledge, they continued to manufacture their products and did not provide adequate warning labels notifying consumers of the risks.
According to various studies, when ranitidine, the generic form of Zantac, comes in contact with certain substances in the body, it can produce a chemical reaction that creates N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, NDMA is a probable human carcinogen, and there is substantial evidence that the drug causes cancer in humans.
FDA Finds High Levels of NDMA in Ranitidine
NDMA levels can vary in different batches of Zantac. It can increase to dangerously high levels if stored in areas with temperatures higher than room temperature. During some independent studies in 2019, researchers found that there were levels of the dangerous substance far higher than the limit of 96 ng allowed by the FDA. According to Valisure, they tested samples of ranitidine and found 3,000,000 ng in each tablet.
The FDA decided to perform its own testing using 18 samples and also found unacceptable levels of NDMA. They used parts per million (ppm) to measure how much of the substance was in each sample. The results found many samples far above the acceptable limit of 0.32 ppm and one sample with as much as 2.85 ppm.
Although the FDA did not recommend that people stop taking Zantac at that time, Walgreens and CVS decided to pull it from their shelves. Sanofi issued a voluntary recall of all its brand name Zantac products in the United States and Canada on October 18, 2019. Additionally, fifteen different companies that manufactured the generic version ranitidine also recalled their products.
Common Side Effects of Zantac
The presence of NDMA in the body may increase the risk of or cause the following:
- Thyroid cancer
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Brain cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Esophageal or throat cancer
- Lung cancer (in non-smokers)
- Kidney cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
Overexposure to NDMA could also lead to various symptoms, such as:
- Reduced kidney, liver, and lung function
- Abdominal cramps
- Enlarged liver
The FDA finally decided to recall all prescription and over the counter Zantac (ranitidine) products on April 1, 2020. They also recommended anyone taking the drug to stop immediately and discuss other medications they could take with their doctors.
Defendants in Zantac Mass Tort Lawsuits
Zantac was manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (formerly Glaxo Holdings, Ltd.) and initially approved by the FDA to treat ulcers in 1983. Pfizer began selling it over the counter in 2004, and rights were eventually transferred to Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Sanofi manufactured the brand Zantac until recalling it towards the end of 2019.
Many companies manufactured and sold the generic version ranitidine, including:
- Acic Pharms
- Actavis Mid Atlantic
- Ajanta Pharma Ltd.
- Amneal Pharms NY
- Anda Repository
- Ani Pharms, Inc.
- Apotex Bedford
- Appco Pharma, LLC
- Aurobindo Pharma Ltd.
- Contract Pharmacal
- Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Ltd.
- Glenmark Pharms, Inc.
- Granules India Ltd.
- Heritage Pharma
- Hi Tech Pharma
- Industries Ltd.
- Lannett Co. Inc.
- Nostrum Labs, Inc.
- Novitium Pharma
- Par Pharm
- Pharm Assoc.
- Strides Pharma
- Sun Pharms
- Unique Farm Labs
- VKT Pharma PVT Ltd.
- Watson Labs
- West-ward Pharms Int.
- Wockhardt, Ltd.
- Zydus Pharms USA, Inc.
Injured By Zantac? We Can Help
If you’ve suffered severe side effects as a result of taking Zantac, don’t despair. You have the right to hold the drug maker accountable for the harm you’ve suffered and losses that you’ve incurred as a result.
Taking legal action can be a challenging process, especially when a large, powerful pharmaceutical company is involved. That’s why it is critical that you hire a skilled and knowledgeable attorney with specific experience handling dangerous drug cases to represent you. With the right legal team on your side, you could recover the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, recoup lost wages, and move on with your life.
Don’t wait until it is too late to take action. Call us today.