Although the company that manufactures Zantac (Sanofi, Boehringer and Ingelheim) was aware that the medication was potentially cancer causing, they hid the information from millions of people. As a result, Zantac continued to be a money-making medication and grew to be the first drug to generate $1 billion in sales.
But over time, many cancer-stricken individuals came forward claiming that the medication contributed to their illness and it’s time for the company to pay the piper. Find out more about the Zantac cancer link and what to do if you or a relative became ill as a result of using this medication.
What is Zantac?
Zantac is chemically known as ranitidine hydrochloride. It came on the market in the 1980’s and it is available over the counter and by prescription. It is used to treat a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues.
Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
The cancer-causing agent in Zantac is known as nitrosodimethylate (NDMA). It is the result of the metabolization of the medication’s active ingredient, ranitidine hcl. NDMA is classified as a carcinogen by the FDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Association. The amount of NDMA in Zantac is allegedly 3000 times greater than the FDA’s legally allowable limit.
NDMA is a molecule that was discovered in the process of developing rocket fuel. It is a combination of DMA and nitrogen. When the chemicals are combined, they are highly carcinogenic. In animal studies, every animal exposed to NDMA developed cancer.
NDMA is not immediately present in Zantac. It is a byproduct of the ranitidine hcl. When the ranitidine interacts with stomach acid and body heat, it is metabolized into NDMA. Because it is created in the metabolic process, it was not easily detectable in the medication. Therefore, Zantac’s cancer risk was not discovered until recently.
In the wake of the discovery, the World Health Organization released a statement saying, “NDMA is clearly carcinogenic. There is overwhelming evidence that NDMA is mutagenic and clastogenic.”
EPA representatives stated that N-nitrosamines, the family of chemicals NDMA belongs to, are “a family of potent carcinogens.”
The FDA established a daily intake limit of 96 ng of NDMA, a limit that may be higher than most would advise. However more than, 25,000 ng of NDMA can be found in a 150 mg tablet, the average dosage that was recommended for most patients.
The Zantac Recall
Valisure is an online pharmacy company that test batches of drugs before selling them to consumers. Their tests revealed high levels of NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine tablets and they submitted a Citizen’s Petition to the FDA to alert them of their findings.
As a result, in Sept. 2019, the FDA publicly announced that Zantac was potentially cancer causing and popular retailers recalled the medication taking it off their shelves and offering refunds to customers who recently purchased it. Some generic drug makers also recalled their ranitidine hydrochloride products.
The following month, Sanofi announced a Zantac recall in the United States, Canada and it’s U.K. unit.
Several countries have banned, halted shipping or recalled ranitidine hcl products. Others have issued warnings and launched investigations concerning the medication.
Several companies issued recalls for blood pressure medications that contained NDMA that exceeded FDA recommendations although the levels found in these products were nowhere near as high as those present in Zantac.
Scientists in Australia did extensive research on Zantac and found that 75% of the products that were tested contained high levels of NDMA. They were one of the many countries that issued a recall of the medication.
Did the FDA Underplay the Harmful Effects of Zantac?
There are some who believe the FDA underplayed the harmful effects Zantac could have. The statement the FDA released concerning NDMA and Zantac was as follows:
(The FDA) “has learned that some ranitidine medicines, including some products commonly known as the brand-name drug Zantac, contain a nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels.”
Critics believe the statement did not show Zantac to be a serious health threat. Furthermore, they feel that NDMA should not be referred to as an impurity. Rather, they feel it is a design defect that the Zantac company should have known about before the medication was put on the market.
It has also been noted that, unlike numerous regulators outside the U.S., the FDA has never told consumers to stop taking Zantac or Zantac generics.
Zantac and Cancer
Zantac is responsible for causing several types of cancer. These include the following:
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
It can also cause headaches, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting.
Products to Look Out For
Here are some products that contain NDMA and should be avoided:
- Zantac 150 Tablets
- Zantac 75 Tablets
- Zantac 150 Maximum Strength
- Zantac 150 Maximum Strength Cool Mint
- Wal-Zan 75
- Wal-Zan 150
- Heartburn Relief (ranitidine)
- Acid Control (ranitidine)
- Acid Reducer (ranitidine)
What’s the Difference Between a Zantac Class Action Lawsuit and a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit?
Anyone who has bought Zantac but has not developed cancer can file a class action lawsuit against Zantac. This will allow them to recover any money they spent purchasing Zantac products. Legally, Zantac owes them money for not disclosing information on the product’s potential to cause cancer.
In order to file a class action lawsuit, you do not have to prove that Zantac caused you any harm. You only have to prove that you purchased the product without being warned of its potentially deadly side effects.
Wrongful death and personal injury claims can be filed by individuals or family members of individuals who developed cancer while or after taking Zantac. If it is found that taking Zantac was what caused the cancer, they may be compensated for damages including lost wages, loss of past and future earnings, pain and suffering, medical expenses and more.
Finding a Lawyer to Represent You in Your Zantac Lawsuit
If you have taken Zantac in the past and are interested in filing a lawsuit against the company, there are plenty of lawyers that specialize in personal injury and wrongful death cases. There are also some who have actively represented clients in Zantac lawsuits and therefore have prior knowledge on the company and the legal issues involved. Research carefully to find the representation that is right for you.
The Zantac company knew they were selling a cancer-causing product and continued to sell it even though they were causing harm to innocent people. If you or someone you love developed cancer as a result of taking Zantac, don’t let them get away with it. Call a reliable lawyer today.
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