Since Zantac recalls took all ranitidine products off the market in 2020, several thousands of both state and federal lawsuits have been in progress. According to Forbes.com, there are over 2,000 federal lawsuits against manufacturers of Zantac for having cancer causing chemicals in batches of the drug. Now, in 2022, federal court trials are expected to take place in October, while some state trials may potentially start sooner. After nearly four years of pretrial activity, Zantac lawsuit cases are now in the discovery phase, in which both the plaintiff and defendant gather information from the other.
With thousands of complicated lawsuits filed across the U.S. and much research about the dangerous drug over the past several years, this blog post breaks down what you need to know about the Zantac recall.
What is Zantac?
Zantac, or generic ranitidine, is a drug developed by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Zantac is a type of histamine-2 blocker, which reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Zantac is used to treat and relieve acid indigestion, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Over the past four decades, Zantac has been sold as both a prescription and over-the-counter drug. Zantac has become one the GlaxoSmithKline’s biggest selling products worldwide and has also been manufactured and widely sold by Sanofi SA, the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
Why Was Zantac Recalled?
In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration requested the removal of all ranitidine products from the market after investigations found contaminants of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in batches of Zantac. NDMA is a chemical impurity and a probable human carcinogen that can be consumed safely in small amounts. NDMA is naturally occurring in certain foods and water and is not harmful in small amounts. However, over 96 nanograms of NDMA consumed per day can be dangerous and increase the risk of cancer in humans. After research and investigation by Valisure, an online pharmacy, 3 million nanograms of NDMA per tablet were found in batches of Zantac.
While there were not many samples that were found to have unsafe levels of NDMA, according to the FDA, “the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.” In order to prevent risk to the public health, all Zantac manufacturers were requested to immediately withdraw their products from the market in the U.S.
Types of Cancer Caused by Zantac
Research has shown that high levels of NDMA found in Zantac can cause cancers including:
- Breast cancer: NDMA can increase the risk of abnormal growth of cells in the breast ducts, and cancerous cells can result in ductal carcinoma.
- Prostate cancer: Prostate glands can develop cancerous cells caused by NDMA in Zantac. This slowly progressing cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men.
- Esophageal cancer: Symptoms of esophageal cancer can include difficulty swallowing, heartburn, and chest pain which as a result cause individuals to continue taking Zantac to help relieve the pain.
- Pancreatic cancer: As one of the most deadly types of cancer, the symptoms are not easily detected and cancer in the pancreas is oftentimes diagnosed in the late stages.
- Stomach cancer: Also referred to as gastric cancer, it is caused by the abnormal growth of cancerous cells in the stomach. Symptoms can include heartburn, nausea, and stomach pain.
- Intestinal cancer: Consuming high levels of NDMA can cause the development of sarcomas, lymphomas, and carcinoid tumors in both the small and large intestines.
- Liver cancer: An increased risk for development of cancerous cells in the liver or cancer migrating to the liver can be caused by exposure to NDMA through continual Zantac use.
What to Do If You Were Diagnosed With Cancer After Taking Zantac
Getting help from a medical professional is an immediate first step if you have experienced negative side effects after taking Zantac. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac for at least one year, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney can help you file your claim and recover damages from the manufacturers of the dangerous drug. The Zantac lawsuit attorneys at Estey & Bomberger specialize in handling Zantac cancer claims and explain the three criteria necessary to qualify for a Zantac lawsuit:
- Proof of Zantac (ranitidine) use
- Proof of the link between NDMA in Zantac and the development of cancer
- Proof of direct correlation between Zantac use and your cancer diagnosis
Contacting a skilled attorney is the best way to find out if you have a Zantac lawsuit. Having an experienced legal team on your side can help you hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for your injuries caused by dangerous and defective drugs that were sold on the market.