After issuing a warning in 2019 about the potential dangers of taking the heartburn medicine Zantac (the generic form of ranitidine), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made requests to remove all ranitidine from the market.
The revelation that Zantac in particular contains a heavy dose of a known cancer-causing impurity referred to as NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine).
In the wake of the Zantac disclosures, hundreds of personal injury lawsuits against manufacturers of the over-the-counter (OTC) drug. That number is expected to soon climb into the tens of thousands.
Why is Zantac Dangerous?
Zantac – or ranitidine – was designed to reduce and prevent heartburn and stomach ulcers caused by stomach acid. It’s also been used to treat esophagus problems, lingering coughs and difficulty with swallowing.
The first alarm bells regarding Zantac were rung by a Connecticut-based online pharmacy that found “extremely high levels of NDMA” in every ranitidine medicine they tested. Eventually, the FDA conduced its own testing, and showed the NDMA levels in Zantac and other forms of ranitidine were between 31,000 times higher than the approved levels.
While the FDA says an acceptable human intake of NDMA is below 100 nanograms, some claims are being made that a single 150 milligram Zantac pill can contain well over 2.5 nanograms of NDMA.
While dosages for Zantac range between 75-150 mg tablets, there are some patients who take the 300 mg dosage once daily.
What is NDMA?
Essentially, NDMA is a chemical in industrial and natural processes that seeps down into the water. It can be found in drinking water and certain foods – including vegetables and dairy products.
While studies of NDMA in humans is limited, studies involving animals show it to be a probable cause of cancer. In essence, it actually modifies your DNA.
In making their request to remove Zantac from shelve, FDA officials said the impurity in some of the ranitidine can increase over time – especially when stored at higher than room temperatures.
Since the FDA’s warnings, more than 22 countries have issued their own recalls of medications that contain higher levels of NDMA.
What Can Happen by Ingesting NDMA?
The effects of ingesting too much NDMA can run the gamut, from fever, abdominal cramps, dizziness and nausea, to cancer.
Among the cancers linked to overexposure to NDMA are:
- Lung cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bladder cancer
What Are Symptoms Associated with Cancer Caused by Zantac?
If you’ve taken Zantac tablets in the past, it’s key that you be aware of certain telltale signs that may signal cancer in your body.
These symptoms include:
- Unintentional or unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue, weakness or a feeling of dizziness
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain that’s not related to heartburn or gas
- Dark urine or blood in your urine
- Blood stools (this is an indication of intestinal bleeding)
- A yellowing of your eyes or skin.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you definitely need to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. It’s also in your best interest to speak with a product liability or personal injury attorney.
Are There Other Problems From Zantac Use?Beyond the link to various forms of cancer, there are side effects known to be caused by Zantac, including:
- Liver failure
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Sleep disorders
Has Zantac Been Contaminated?
No. At this time, it’s thought that Zantac is flawed at the molecular level. In other words, the design of the medicine is what’s causing the danger.
Should I Stop Taking Zantac?
Absolutely. In fact, there’s no safe dosage of Zantac at this time. There are, though, several good alternatives, including:
Before taking any of these medications, though, it’s best to talk with your physician.
Can I Sue the Makers of Zantac?
While hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against makers of Zantac, most legal authorities are predicting a tidal wave of Zantac lawsuits.
These could be in the form of a mass tort, class action lawsuit or individual personal injury claim.
- Mass torts. Most often used when a large number of consumers are injured by drugs or products that are defective, mass torts typically involve plaintiffs in the same geographic area. Regardless of how many plaintiffs are included, each person in a mass tort is treated individually. In a mass tort, the legal process is sped up, and each individual plaintiff has the opportunity to receive a larger settlement based upon their specific injuries.
- Class action lawsuits. While also involving a large group of plaintiffs, a class action lawsuit can be beneficial because taking legal action is more affordable and it ensures that each plaintiff is treated equally.
The downside of a class action lawsuit is that there’s only one decision made in the case. Each plaintiff receives the same amount of compensation (if any) – regardless of the extend to your individual injuries.
- Zantac personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claims. Working with your personal injury attorney, you can file an individual personal injury claim against the makers of Zantac based upon injuries you’ve experienced. You also have the option of filing a wrongful death claim if a family member has died because of injuries or cancer sustained because of Zantac use.
With an individual personal injury or wrongful death claim, you could obtain the maximum amount of compensation allowed in your state for your injuries.
Select a Zantac Personal Injury lawyer with a Record of Success
Experiencing an injury because of a defected product is one thing; actually proving it in a court of law is an entirely different matter.
The Zantac personal injury lawyers with National Injury Help has helped thousands of clients receive hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bayer/AG.
For a free initial consultation, call 800-214-1010 or you can submit a Zantac claim at www.zantacproblems.com.