When doctors prescribed ranitidine, also known by the brand name Zantac, to pregnant women, they were putting unborn children at risk for birth defects. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against the prolonged usage of Zantac and other drugs in its class after a study found they could cause birth defects, including heart problems.
Did you or someone you know take Zantac and give birth to a child with a birth defect? If so, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. Zantac is known to cause heart defects, oral clefts, and other birth defects in unborn children.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for victims harmed by defective medications. We have experience helping victims of defective drugs like Zantac recover the money they need for medical expenses and other damages.
Contact our drug injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757, use the contact form for additional information and answers, or schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What is Zantac?
Zantac is a drug used to treat and prevent stomach acids, heartburn, and acid reflux. Before the drug was recalled and pulled from the marketplace, doctors prescribed the drug to patients dealing with ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues.
Zantac is a histamine-2 blocker that works by decreasing the amount of stomach acid produced. The brand name for Zantac is ranitidine.
The FDA has not yet recalled all forms of Zantac, but the agency has advised patients to stop taking the drug and throw it away and for doctors to cease prescribing the medication.
What are the Birth Defects Associated with Zantac?
There are a number of midline birth defects and preventable deaths associated with taking ranitidine-based drugs, including Zantac. The most common birth defects of a developing fetus linked to ranitidine products like Zantac include:
- Heart defects
- Oral clefts
- Esophageal defects
- Anal/rectal defects
- Abdominal wall defects
- Conotruncal heart defects
- Neural tube defects
- Diaphragmatic defects
- Other birth defects
- Neonatal deaths
These birth defects caused by taking ranitidine or Zantac while pregnant result in life-long problems for the child and may require ongoing medical treatment.
What is the Difference Between a Birth Defect and Birth Injury?
Birth defects typically result from a problem or alteration with the baby’s genes or chromosomes during pregnancy due to internal or external conditions. Preventable problems usually cause birth injuries during the delivery, such as a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain.
Why Zantac Is Dangerous! Exposure to NDMA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine) as a semi-volatile organic chemical and potential carcinogen. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had found low levels of NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine medications.
Zantac Possible Causes of Birth Defects or Cancer
Subsequent tests showed that the amount of NDMA in the drugs increased when they were exposed to heat or stored for long periods. The FDA advises patients and health care professionals to immediately stop taking Zantac and other ranitidine medications and throw them away.
Expectant mothers who take the popular heartburn medication Zantac during pregnancy put their unborn child at risk for developing cancer in childhood or later in life.
In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised drug makers to withdraw their Zantac and ranitidine products from consumer use.
Within months, Zantac drug manufacturers and those producing the generic form ranitidine voluntarily recalled the product from store shelves.
Did Pharmaceutical Companies Know of the Risks?
Many victims harmed by the drug believe that the manufacturers of Zantac were aware of the risks of birth defects associated with the dangerous drug but did not issue a recall until after many lawsuits had been filed.
Many injured parties whose children have experienced birth defects have filed Zantac lawsuits, alleging that the drug makers failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with the medication. These lawsuits are currently pending in courts across the country.
Zantac and Cancer Risks
Since the early 1980s, Zantac has been a popular over-the-counter ranitidine-based medication for heartburn and acid reflux. However, in February 2019, the FDA issued a safety warning that linked Zantac to increased cancer risk.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people taking both prescription Zantac or over-the-counter (OTC) products had a higher risk of developing cancer than those who didn’t.
Before Zantac was recalled, manufacturers had known of significant cancer risks related to their products due to exposure to NDMA, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Postnatal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
Adults are not the only victims who develop cancer after prolonged usage of prescription or over-the-counter Zantac or ranitidine-based medications. Children and a developing fetus can also develop cancer after pregnant women take the dangerous drug for an extended time.
How Can I Get Help If My Child Was Affected by Zantac?
It can be challenging to raise a child born with a birth defect. These children usually require a lifetime of care involving:
- Medical specialists
- Ongoing medical treatment
The costs of these treatments can be significant, and they may not be covered by insurance. Many parents face a lifetime of medical bills and other expenses related to their child’s care.
Did you take the dangerous drug Zantac while pregnant and believe it caused your child harm? You may be able to file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer.
Was your child born with a birth defect after you took Zantac during pregnancy? You may be able to join a class-action lawsuit, MDL (multidistrict litigation), mass torts, or file an individual claim against the drug manufacturer.
You may also be able to recover compensation through a product liability claim if your child was born with a birth defect after you took Zantac during pregnancy. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our experienced personal injury and product liability attorneys have represented clients in similar cases and can help you understand your legal options.
What is the Zantac Litigation Process?
The first step in filing a Zantac lawsuit is to speak with an experienced product liability attorney. You will need to provide as much information as possible about your case, including medical records and any other documentation that may be helpful.
Once your attorney has reviewed your case, they will be able to determine if you have a valid claim and whether or not you are eligible to file a lawsuit. If you qualify to file a lawsuit, your attorney will help you navigate the legal process and represent you in court.
Zantac Birth Defects FAQs
Our personal injury lawyers understand that families, pregnant women, and injured parties have unanswered questions concerning birth defects linked to taking prescription Zantac or ranitidine (generic version). A product liability lawyer from our law firm has answered the most common questions below.
Contact our law offices at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for additional information on the Zantac recall or to schedule a free consultation to discuss how to seek compensation.
Why was Zantac recalled from the medical marketplace?
In 2019, FDA issued a safety warning that linked Zantac to an increased risk of cancer after discovering the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications. Although the FDA classified the Zantac recall as a “Class II,” meaning that there is a remote probability of serious health consequences or death, the agency demanded that all drug companies stop producing and distributing ranitidine medications in the United States.
What is the known carcinogen NDMA, and how did it get into Zantac?
The EPA has classified a probable (cancer-causing agent (human carcinogen) called NDMA as an “ environmental contaminant.” The FDA believes that NDMA in Zantac or ranitidine results from a “chemical reaction” that occurs when ranitidine reacts with nitrites in food or water.
Medical experts and the FDA have not determined how much NDMA is safe for humans to consume daily but still issued a market-level recall request to pull Zantac and generic versions for acid indigestion from the medical marketplace.
How many people have been impacted by taking ranitidine products like Zantac?
The total number of people that have been impacted by taking ranitidine or Zantac is not currently known. However, it is estimated that millions of people in the United States take ranitidine medication each year for heartburn and other digestive issues.
What types of cancer are linked to taking Zantac?
Increasing evidence has shown that NDMA exposure can lead to an increased risk of various types of birth defects like cleft palate, heart murmurs, postnatal cancer, and other cancers, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
Can I file a wrongful death claim if my family member died after taking Zantac?
Yes. If your spouse, child, or other family member died after taking ranitidine or Zantac, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the drug manufacturer. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you understand your legal options and represent you in court. Call (888) 424-5757 for a free case review.
What types of compensation am I eligible to receive if my child was born with a birth defect after I took Zantac during pregnancy?
If your child was born with a birth defect after you took Zantac or ranitidine during pregnancy, you might be eligible to receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
Receiving compensation is not automatic. You, or your attorney, will need to show the correlation of how your long-term usage of Zantac or ranitidine led to your cancer or your child’s birth defect.
Can I take Zantac if I am pregnant?
Recent FDA studies show that taking Zantac during pregnancy can increase babies’ risk of developing cancer. If you are taking Zantac and are pregnant, you must speak with your healthcare professional about finding an alternative medication.
Reports indicate that Zantac and ranitidine have carcinogenic levels of NDMA, a known environmental contaminant. FDA’s investigation is ongoing, but the agency has recommended that companies stop distributing ranitidine medications in the United States.
Hire a Zantac Birth Defect Attorney to Resolve Your Product Liability Claim
Has your pregnancy resulted in a birth defect? Did you take Zantac or a ranitidine-based drug to treat acid reflux, acid indigestion, or heartburn? Our lawyers can help you seek compensation for your damages.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys understand that the last thing you want to worry about when your child has been injured is how you will pay for legal representation. That’s why our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not owe us for our legal services until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Let us help you with your Zantac lawsuit! Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free case review to discuss how to seek compensation.
- Ranitidine Drug & Cancer Fear-Drugwatch
- Zantac Recall – Harvard Health