Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is reviewing cases related to a reported increased cancer risk in patients who have taken Zantac heartburn medication. If you or a loved one has taken Zantac and developed liver problems or stomach, bladder, or other type of cancer, we urge you to contact our Zantac lawsuit attorneys so you can begin the process of receiving the compensation you deserve through a settlement or jury award.
NDMA Contamination in Zantac Associated With Cancer
Zantac is amongst the most popular and widely used over-the-counter medications for the relief of heartburn and acid reflux. Zantac belong to the class of drugs known as H2 blockers, which decrease acid levels in the stomach. In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers and healthcare professionals that laboratory tests revealed some ranitidine products to be contaminated with small amounts of the suspected carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is believed to raise the risk of certain cancers. The agency has since declared the NDMA levels found in these products to be “unacceptably high.”
Exposure to significant amounts of NDMA is known to seriously damage the liver and is believed to increase the risk of developing cancer of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, stomach, and colon. The FDA has not yet recalled Zantac from the U.S. market, but the concerns have prompted several ranitidine manufacturers to voluntarily issue recalls and national pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid to pull all ranitidine-containing products including Zantac from their shelves. Several countries including Canada and France have officially recalled the drugs.
On October 18, 2019, Sanofi voluntarily recalled its Zantac products related to potential NDMA contamination.
If you or a loved one has taken Zantac or ranitidine, you are likely alarmed and confused by these developments. In this article we will try to address some of your concerns:
- What is NDMA?
- Has Zantac been recalled and what should I do if I currently take it?
- What are the medical complications associated with NDMA?
- Have any lawsuits been filed against the manufacturer of Zantac?
- What compensation can a person who was harmed by Zantac recover in a lawsuit?
Contact Our Drug Injury Law Firm if You Have Been Exposed
If you are currently taking Zantac you should speak to your doctor right away. If you have taken the drug and developed a digestive or other type of cancer, you should consider taking immediate legal action against the drugmakers who manufactured, marketed, and sold the defective drug. Time is of the essence, because there are statutes of limitations that apply to filing personal injury claims at both the federal and state levels.
The drug recall attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are monitoring potential Zantac lawsuits across the United States. Our office is centrally located in Chicago, Illinois, and we are here to provide you with the latest information on recalls and pending litigation involving monetary damages. We invite you to discuss your experience and your legal options with us at no cost or obligation.
What is NDMA?
The organic compound, formerly used to make rocket fuel, is known to cause cancer in research animals. NDMA is described as a waste product of industrial processes including the making of lubricants and pesticides. It is part of the N-nitrosamine family of potent carcinogens. The yellowish, odorless liquid is said to be present at supposedly safe micro levels in some food products—particularly cured meats—and water supplies, even beer. The toxic chemical has been found to damage the liver and other organs in humans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that NDMA is a “probable human carcinogen” that can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
Although most of what is currently known about NDMA’s carcinogenic qualities comes from animal-based studies, the World Health Organization has reported that several case–control studies and one cohort study of dietary intake of NDMA by humans showed results “supportive of the assumption that NDMA consumption is positively associated with either gastric or colorectal cancer.”
Has Zantac Been Recalled?
While many Americans take ranitidine over-the-counter (OTC) for relief of heartburn and indigestion, prescription-strength ranitidine is sometimes used by physicians to treat and prevent ulcers in patients. Although the FDA initially reported that NDMA levels in the contaminated ranitidine were barely any higher than the supposedly safe amounts found in common foods, it later declared the levels to be “unacceptably high.”
However, the agency is not currently recommending that patients stop taking ranitidine products immediately, but urging patients to speak to their doctors about alternative prescription and OTC medications for their conditions.
Meanwhile, several drugmakers including Novartis-owned Sandoz Inc., Apotex, and GlaxoSmithKline (original developer of Zantac), announced they were voluntarily recalling or halting distribution of some batches of their generic ranitidine-containing products in the U.S. and other countries.
It’s important to note that to date, brand-name Zantac (manufactured by Sanofi) was voluntarily recalled on October 18, 2019 as was thenull generic version, ranitidine.
If you are concerned whether your particular brand of ranitidine is affected, links to information about the specific products that have been recalled by their manufacturers are provided in the “Resources” section the end of this article.
What are the Medical Complications Associated With NDMA?
The environmental contaminant NDMA has been known to cause serious, non-cancerous liver damage in humans and is used by cancer researchers to induce liver tumors in rodents. It is believed to be a risk factor for a range of human digestive system cancers including that of the stomach, colon, pancreas and liver as well as bladder cancer.Stomach Cancer
Cancer of the stomach (adenocarcinoma) is treatable when caught at an early stage. One of its precursors can be the condition known as GERD, or acid reflux. It is also believed to be associated with obesity and smoking, as well as poor diet.
Symptoms of stomach cancer include:
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
- Persistent heartburn
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
Treatments for stomach cancer depend on the stage that the disease has progressed to, and include surgery (including removal of the stomach), radiation and chemotherapy.Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is fairly rare, accounting for just five percent of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. It is more likely to strike males over age 55 than females and is more common among Caucasians than other races. Risk factors are believed to include family history, smoking, chronic bladder inflammation/infections, and exposure to certain industrial chemicals.
Like stomach cancer, bladder cancer is also highly treatable, with a reported five-year survival rate of over 75 percent. However, if left untreated it can spread to vital organs including the lungs and liver via the lymph nodes.
Early symptoms can mimic those of urinary tract infections and other ailments, and include:
- pain during urination
- frequent need to urinate
- difficulty urinating
- blood in the urine
Once the disease has progressed, symptoms can include:
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
Bladder cancer is treated through surgical removal of cancerous tissue and even all or part of the bladder (cystectomy), chemotherapy, and radiation.Other Cancers
NDMA has also been linked to the following cancers:
Have any Lawsuits Been Filed Against the Makers of Zantac?
Since the FDA announcement, lawsuits have already begun to be filed around the U.S. against the makers of Zantac and related products, including Sanofi.
The defendants are being sued by plaintiffs who took Zantac and other ranitidine products and either developed cancer or claim to be at risk for cancer. The plaintiffs claim the drugmakers should have known of the potential risk for NDMA contamination and advised the medical community of the danger, in light of certain research that predated the FDA warning. This research reportedly found that ranitidine can degrade into NDMA when combined with water.
Whenever there is a flurry of new litigation brought against specific defendants in different states, those early cases are often consolidated in a single state in what is known as a multidistrict litigation (MDL), where they can all be heard in the same federal court before the same judge. This is different from a class action lawsuit, and is done for efficiency in the pretrial hearing and motion process. While several class-actions have been brought over Zantac, it is too early to predict whether there will be an MDL.
The litigation is still in its early stages and there have been no settlements or verdicts related to Zantac injuries announced yet.
What Compensation can a Person who has Been Harmed by Zantac Recover in a Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one has taken Zantac or ranitidine and developed stomach or bladder cancer, contact the defective drug injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss whether you have a valid claim for compensation. The medication you are taking now could cause serious medical complications in the months or years ahead.
You could be eligible to receive compensation for all medical costs associated with the health condition that resulted from your Zantac consumption, lost income for time your illness left you unable to work, pain and suffering, loss of normal life and other tangible and intangible damages.
Our law firm accepts all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and defective drug injury claims through contingency fee agreements which postpone payment for our legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case. If we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf through a trial award or negotiated out-of-court settlement, you owe us nothing. Let our experienced team of product liability and malpractice attorneys go to work for you and your family to fully compensate you for you Zantac cancer.
This webpage is prepared and updated by attorney Jonathan Rosenfeld. Updated October 18, 2019.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is also reviewing Valsartan lawsuits related to cancers.