Can Zantac Cause Intestinal Cancer?
For four decades, the American public was bombarded with advertisements for Zantac in one of the most aggressive drug marketing campaigns of all time.
They reached for this drug in record numbers to get heartburn relief. Even though many in the scientific community knew it, Americans were never told that they had a far higher chance of developing cancer because of the presence of a probable human carcinogen.
Now, thousands of patients have developed different types of cancer that have been tied to Zantac use because of its active ingredient ranitidine.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer ranitidine, we can help. Call our law firm for a free consultation.
Zantac Products Were Used Effectively for Decades for Acid Reflux
Since 1983, Zantac has been used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease. The product reached $1 billion in sales within a few years of being introduced to the market, fast becoming one of the most successful drugs in history.
Once the patent protection on Zantac expired, numerous drug makers stepped into the market to sell generic Zantac.
This popular heartburn medication ruled the market for decades until facing a challenge from proton pump inhibitors. Even still, there were a significant number of people taking this heartburn drug at the time that it was pulled from the market.
How Ranitidine Products Worked on Heartburn
Ranitidine products were supposed to block a chemical called histamine. This chemical regulates physiological functions in the gut. When histamine receptors are stimulated, it results in acid secretion. Ranitdine functioned as an H2 blocker to reduce the production of gastric acid.
Zantac began to work as soon as a half-hour after the patient took a tablet. It worked to block acid production for up to 12 hours. The process is in contrast to proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium that shit down pumps in the stomach that produce acid.
How Zantac Increased Risk of Cancer
There is a significant positive association between NDMA exposure and cancer. The problem with Zantac was that it introduced a toxin into the body on a daily basis. Each time that the patient took Zantac, they were ingesting more NDMA, progressively raising the risks of different types of cancer.
Zantac puts consumers at risk of gastric cancer and colorectal cancer because of the dangers of its active ingredients. After ranitidine testing found NDMA, researchers coalesced around the idea that NDMA was not introduced to Zantac as a result of a problem in the manufacturing process (as was the case for the popular blood pressure drug valsartan).
Instead, Zantac made its own NDMA over time. As researchers have been explaining for years (and the drug companies have been ignoring), ranitidine is a very unstable substance. Over time, and when exposed to heat, ranitidine can form its own NDMA.
The initial thought was that being stored in heat caused ranitidine products to make their own NDMA. This was backed up by test results that showed very different levels of NDMA in varying batches tested.
However, other researchers believe that Zantac can make its own NDMA when exposed to the body's internal heat. Even if the Zantac has little to no NDMA when the patient ingests it, the dangerous substance will still form in the human body shortly after the drug is taken.
The Dangers of N Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)
According to the World Health Organization, NDMA is a genotoxic carcinogen. The WHO has published numerous research studies that detail the cancer risk associated with NDMA.
In one study, the WHO noted the fact that laboratory animals have developed cancer at higher rates when exposed to NDMA. The WHO has identified NDMA as part of a "cohort of concern."
To be clear, not all NDMA exposure leads to an increased risk of cancer. There is a maximum level of daily intake that people can consume or be exposed to, and it is still safe.
After all, NDMA is found in many foods and in drinking water. However, those taking Zantac were exposed to far more NDMA than the maximum daily limit.
The Environmental Protection Agency cites the fact that NDMA is listed as a "priority toxic pollutant in the Code of Federal Regulations.
The Food and Drug Administration Finally Acts
Reports of the cancer risk of Zantac were around for years, yet the FDA did absolutely nothing. They did not order any tests to run these claims to ground. It was a small and independent online pharmacy that took it upon itself to do what the FDA should have done years ago.
Valisure randomly ordered several lots of Zantac and generic Zantac online and bought them in stores. The company then tested them for NDMA levels and found that they were above the amount that was considered safe to ingest daily.
Even still, the FDA tried to downplay what should have been a serious and alarming finding, going out of its way to assure the public that these levels were really not that high. The FDA spoke before knowing the true extent of the dangers.
Drug Makers Pull the Product on Their Own
Sensing the legal trouble that they might be in, the companies that made ranitidine products largely acted quickly to stop selling them. Also at legal risk, pharmacies took steps to pull ranitidine products from their shelves one by one.
By the time the FDA finally got around to ordering a full recall of ranitidine drugs, the market had largely already done its work for it.
This was yet another case of the Food and Drug Administration either being asleep at the wheel or siding with manufacturers over the public that it is supposed to protect.
Now, the wonder heartburn drug that was a huge moneymaker for drug manufacturers is completely off the market. All that is left are the Zantac lawsuits and serious legal liability.
There Were Years of Reports of Increased Cancer Risk
Concerns about the active ingredient ranitidine date as far back as Zantac itself. There were concerns about the toxicity of Zantac two years before the product was even sold in the United States.
The drumbeat of alarming reports grew over the years. Researchers began to pinpoint some of the exact problems with ranitidine drugs. They focused on the instability of ranitidine and the possibility that it could develop NDMA.
The research became increasingly concerning around 2011 when a major study was released that showed that ranitidine had the highest likelihood of eight different drugs of developing NDMA.
When drug manufacturers knew or should have known of their product's danger, they cannot just sit on their hands. They would have a legal obligation to warn the public of the dangers if they chose to continue selling the product at all.
Here, the Zantac makers did nothing in the face of mounting concerns about their product's safety. These are the exact facts that anger juries and cause them to assess punitive damages.
How Zantac Causes Intestinal Cancer and Colon Cancer
When NDMA enters the body after taking Zantac, the substance needs to go somewhere before the body eliminates it.
Over time, some taking Zantac would pass the NDMA from their body, either through their urine or feces. In the latter, the NDMA will pass through the intestines and colon before making its way out of the body through the bowels.
The toxins will come into contact with internal organs and the body's digestive system. When a patient takes Zantac every day, the exposure is constant, raising the risk of colorectal cancer.
Other patients have received a cancer diagnosis for another part of their body, as you will see below.
Types of Colorectal Cancer Associated With Zantac Use
Here are types of cancer that have been associated with Zantac use and have been the subject of lawsuits.
Many of these cancers are in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Gastric cancer (stomach cancer)
- Colon cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
In addition, Zantac use has also been tied to other types of cancer, including:
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
Cancer risk was not the only problem that went along with Zantac use. Patients also developed liver disease and suffered from erectile dysfunction after using Zantac.
Subsequent Tests Show the True Danger of Zantac Use
Valisure did further testing after the full Zantac recall to present and wrap up its findings. The results of these tests showed the full extent of the cancer risk from taking Zantac.
Valisure did tests on simulated gastric acid under conditions similar to what would be found in the human stomach. The test results put to rest the Food and Drug Administration's misguided attempts to reassure the public and minimize the danger.
The Valisure testing results showed that the daily level of exposure to NDMA from Zantac use was hundreds of times more than the daily intake ceiling.
NDMA began to form in the human stomach within two hours of Zantac being introduced into the digestive system, raising the risk of tumors such as liver cancer and prostate cancer.
Who You Can Sue in Zantac Lawsuits
In a Zantac lawsuit, you can sue anyone who was involved in the "chain of commerce." This means that they had a role in the process of selling you the drug that caused you to develop cancer.
In Zantac lawsuits, it means that people are suing both the drug makers and the pharmacies or stores where they bought the drug. You do not need to show who was liable and in what percentage.
All you need to show is that someone had a role in selling you a defective product.
Here are some of the companies who may be defendants in Zantac lawsuits:
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC,
- Sanofi US Services Inc.,
- Chattem Inc.,
- Boehringer Ingelheim,
Many companies got into the market to make generic ranitidine when they saw how profitable Zantac was. Once the initial patent protection expired, there was a rush of companies trying to take advantage of the huge demand for an over-the-counter heartburn relief product.
Damages in Zantac Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer after taking Zantac, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Embarrassment and humiliation (especially when they have colon or intestine removed and need a colostomy bag)
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
Even if a patient survives colorectal cancer, the damages can be considerable. In addition, it is difficult to live with the fear of colorectal cancer returning, as it often does.
Will Pharmaceutical Companies Settle the Zantac Lawsuits?
Many defendants will go through several jury trials to see how their cases may play out in front of a jury. If they win the initial trials, they may see less reason to settle the cases.
In mass tort cases like a Zantac lawsuit, the defendants may try to negotiate a global settlement if they lose the initial cases and are hit with large jury verdicts.
There is some talk that a global settlement may reach the $10 billion that the Roundup defendants agreed to if this case continues to grow.
Many potential plaintiffs have not yet sued. People develop cancer after years of NDMA exposure, and some may not yet have been diagnosed with cancer.
Right now, Zantac defendants do not yet have a pressing motivation to settle, but that may change if the cases begin to turn against them.
Companies do not like to be hit with large jury verdicts for personal injury and wrongful death one after the next. If the defendants lose the bellwether cases, there may be more of an effort to settle.
Contact a Zantac Cancer Attorney
If you or a loved one developed cancer after taking Zantac or generic ranitidine medications, you can file a Zantac lawsuit to potentially receive financial compensation.
When you are looking for a Zantac lawsuit attorney, look no further than the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. We are experienced product liability attorneys who have helped numerous clients like you who have been injured by products that they trusted.
Call us today at (800) 424-5757 or contact us online to schedule for free consultation. Our attorneys will review the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options. You do not owe us attorney fees unless we are able to help you win your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Zantac Personal Injury Lawsuit
Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Zantac personal injury lawsuits.
How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Prove My Zantac Cancer Lawsuit?
The first thing that your Zantac cancer attorney will do is review your medical records to learn more about your cancer and how long you took Zantac. Then, they would consult with an expert witness who would opine about the dangers of Zantac.
You can expect a long and detailed case in which your lawyer will delve into the specifics of the medication to prove its dangers. Therefore, you must have an attorney who understands the complexities and science behind product liability cases.
Where Do the Zantac Lawsuits Stand Now?
The Zantac lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation. These are different from a class action lawsuit. The cases will proceed together through the discovery process before having their own separate jury trials.
Currently, these cases are in federal court in Florida. The parties are in the process of selecting the cases for bellwether trials. The first trials are tentatively scheduled to happen at some point in 2023.
How Does a Zantac Lawsuit Attorney Help My Case?
Multidistrict litigation against pharmaceutical companies can be very challenging. Not only are you taking on the makers of Zantac products who have billions of dollars in potential liability, but there are also issues with the multidistrict litigation that require an attorney to advocate for you.
If your case is settled, your attorney could help you maximize your financial recovery from the settlement fund. If your case does not settle, your lawyer will take it to trial.
How Do I Pay My Zantac Lawsuit Attorney?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we work for you on a contingency basis. Not only is there a free consultation, but you also do not pay us unless you win your case. We do not send you a bill for our time, even at the conclusion of the case.
If you do win your case, we are paid as a percentage of the proceeds of your settlement or jury award. If we do not win, you are not charged. The lack of a bill should give you all the encouragement that you need to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit for Zantac cancer.
Do not let worries about attorney fees get in your way.
What Happens If My Loved One Died From Cancer Caused by Zantac?
Your family can file a wrongful death claim for financial compensation. This is your family's own lawsuit for the damages that you have suffered from losing a loved one from cancer linked to Zantac.
You can be paid for the following damages:
- Lost wages that your loved one would have earned
- Your own grief and distress from losing a loved one
- The loss of a loving relationship with your family member