For decades, millions of Americans turned to Zantac to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. But in 2019, the FDA announced that Zantac contained an environmental contaminant called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has been linked to cancer in humans. If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering. Below are six things you need to know before you pursue a Zantac cancer lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer.
1) The FDA requested that Zantac be removed from shelves in April, 2020
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested a manufacturer’s market withdrawal of ranitidine, known commonly by the brand name Zantac. This means ranitidine products will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or over-the-counter (OTC) use in the U.S.” – United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Shortly after discovering the presence of NDMA in Zantac, the FDA requested that the manufacturer of Zantac remove the drug from the shelves of pharmacies, drugstores, and groceries. The FDA requested the removal of over-the-counter and prescription versions of Zantac, citing tests that show the drug is a public health risk.
2) Large doses of Zantac over a long period of time may cause cancer
While NDMA is categorized as a probable carcinogen, it’s important to understand that small or isolated amounts of NDMA do not likely lead to health problems. However, high quantities of NDMA over a prolonged period of time may cause cancer and other health-related problems.
Researchers are still investigating the factors that led to the NDMA contamination in Zantac. Some researchers posit that NDMA develops when ranitidine – the active ingredient in Zantac – comes into contact with water that occurs naturally within the digestive tract.
3) There are other long-term health effects of taking Zantac
Stomach, bladder, and liver cancer top the list of serious health problems that may develop as a result of taking Zantac or other NDMA-contaminated drugs. Here is a look at some of the other types of cancer and health conditions that may develop due to long-term consumption of Zantac:
- Colon Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)
- Crohn’s Disease
If you developed Crohn’s Disease or PPH after taking Zantac, you may also qualify for a Zantac lawsuit. The best way to know whether you have a good case for a lawsuit is to contact a personal injury lawyer who can review your health history and determine whether you may qualify for a lawsuit.
4) Existing lawsuits accuse drugmakers of failing to warn people about risks
“People who filed lawsuits claimed that before the drug hit the market in 1983, there was already scientific evidence showing that drugs like ranitidine contained a compound that could form NDMA when combined with other substances in the body.” – ConsumerNotice.org
At the heart of many Zantac cancer lawsuits, is the manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers and the government about the drug’s risks. Consumers began filing lawsuits against Zantac’s manufacturers in 2019 after NDMA was discovered in Zantac. Initial lawsuits accused manufacturers Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim of knowingly manufacturing and selling a drug that was contaminated with a cancer-causing contaminant.
5) Meeting certain conditions will boost your chances of a successful lawsuit
Not everyone who has taken Zantac should pursue a Zantac lawsuit. The surest way to know whether you have a good case is to speak with a lawyer with experience handling Zantac cancer lawsuits. A person’s chances of qualifying for a lawsuit and achieving a favorable outcome are usually the highest if three conditions are met:
- A past history of Zantac use that can be proven with pharmacy records or receipts
- A cancer diagnosis assigned by a licensed medical doctor
- A causal relationship between the Zantac and the cancer diagnosis
6) Talk to your doctor before making medication changes
“Until we know more, the best course of action if you are taking ranitidine is to talk to your doctor about whether treatment is still needed. For some conditions, the benefits likely outweigh the risks. Although some ranitidine products remain available, consider alternative medications such as cimetidine (Tagamet) or famotidine (Pepcid) if you need long-term treatment.” – Joshua Gagne, PharmD, ScD, Harvard Health
If you have recently discovered that you are taking any medication containing ranitidine, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor right away. Your doctor can assess the level of ranitidine in your medication in conjunction with your health history to determine whether an alternative medication may be necessary.
What should you do today if you are considering a Zantac cancer lawsuit?
If you received a cancer diagnosis after taking Zantac, the best thing to do is contact an experienced attorney for a free case evaluation. An attorney will listen to your story and review your medical history to determine whether you should pursue a Zantac cancer lawsuit.