Zantac's Link to Cancer: What You Need to Know
Millions of Americans have used Zantac (ranitidine) to treat heartburn, ulcers, and other various health conditions. Last fall, consumers were surprised to learn that the popular over-the-counter and prescription medication – which had long been viewed as safe – could lead to cancer.
Read on to find out how the discovery was made and what you can do if you were a victim.
Why Was Zantac Recalled?
In June 2019, an online pharmacy named Valisure detected high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in Zantac and its generic alternatives. NDMA is a chemical compound classified by the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable human carcinogen. Valisure identified the “inherent instability” of the molecule, suggesting that all medications containing it could lead to unsafe levels of the chemical in the body.
Valisure notified the FDA of their findings. Then, in September 2019, the company filed a petition with the FDA requesting a recall of all ranitidine products.
The FDA conducted testing that confirmed “NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions” and “increase significantly” when stored at higher temperatures.
After discovering that the cancer risk in Zantac was too high due to NDMA contamination, the FDA sent letters to all manufacturers requesting they withdraw all over-the-counter and prescription ranitidine products from the market.
Should I Stop Taking Ranitidine?
The FDA urged consumers to stop taking or purchasing ranitidine products, as well as to dispose of any liquid or tablets they have remaining. In addition, they recommended that those who wish to continue treating their condition “consider using other approved OTC products.”
Patients who are taking prescription Zantac or a generic alternative should talk to their doctor about substitute options. Multiple drugs are approved for the same or similar uses. The FDA noted that NDMA has not been found in numerous alternative medications including Pepcid, Tagamet, Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec.
Are There Legal Remedies For Zantac Cancer Victims?
If you've been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac or one of its generic alternatives, it's important that you consider your legal options. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by consumers who say they were diagnosed with cancer after taking the medication. These lawsuits are seeking reimbursement for medical expenses, lost income, and other losses sustained.
Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure that the products they make do not harm consumers. If they failed to identify and mitigate risks, they may be legally liable. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether or not you have a case.