The multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi faces numerous lawsuits claiming that the company never warned consumers about the possibility of developing cancer from taking Zantac, also known by its generic name, ranitidine. Scientific analysis of Zantac and other ranitidine-based drugs detected extremely high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical compound considered to be a probable human carcinogen.
Our ranitidine cancer lawsuit attorneys have opened an investigation to determine whether people who took Zantac and are now suffering from particular types of cancer can recover compensation. Filing a lawsuit against the company that produced Zantac and other ranitidine medication manufacturers could help pay for medical expenses associated with cancer treatment, lost wages, and physical pain along with psychological and emotional suffering.
If you’ve been prescribed Zantac or taken over-the-counter Zantac and developed cancer, the experienced defective drug lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP may be able to help you. Contact us to get a free consultation and learn about your legal rights: Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form today.
Sanofi-Aventis Recalled Zantac
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened an investigation into the potential damages NDMA could cause to the cells of a human being. Even though the possible effects are under investigation, Sanofi-Aventis voluntarily recalled its over-the-counter Zantac tablets after independent testing detected substantial amounts of NDMA. The FDA conducted its own testing and also concluded the levels of NDMA in Zantac were high. The FDA did not immediately declare the levels of NDMA it found to be extremely dangerous. Additionally, the FDA did not caution people who use Zantac to stop taking their medication, despite their findings.
National drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens pulled Zantac and all other ranitidine medications off their shelves after learning about the test results. CVS and Walgreens will continue to sell other over-the-counter heartburn medications that are ranitidine-free, such as Pepcid and Tagamet.
Sanofi-Aventis is not the only maker of ranitidine drugs to announce a recall. Apotex Corp. and Novartis’ Sandoz subsidiary have recalled their ranitidine-based heartburn medications as well. Apotex Corp. and Sandoz recalled their ranitidine heartburn medicines approximately one month before Sanofi-Aventis announced its recall campaign.
FDA Calls for All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) Removed From the Market
FDA Advises Consumers, Patients and Health Care Professionals After New FDA Studies Show Risk to Public Health
April 01, 2020 (FDA News Release) – Today, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is requesting that manufacturers of all over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription Ranitidine (commonly sold under the brand name Zantac) drugs withdraw these medications from the market immediately. This is the latest action taken by the FDA to protect consumers from medicines that contain the contaminant N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen.
Have you been prescribed Zantac or taken over-the-counter Zantac (Ranitidine)?
Parker Waichman LLP is offering a free consultation to patients and the family of loved ones who were injured or developed cancer as a result of consuming contaminated Zantac (Ranitidine). Our law firm is available to speak with you or your loved one 24/7. Contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529), or by visiting our website to start a live chat, or fill out our Contact Form.
What is Zantac designed to do
Zantac is a histamine-2 blocker. Zantac prevents the accumulation of stomach acid by blocking the histamine-2 molecules released during digestion. Zantac provides relief from stomach ailments related to excess accumulation of stomach acids such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, hrtburn, and stomach ulcers.
Millions of people suffer from chronic stomach ailments, which they treat by using ranitidine-based medications. People who used Zantac and other ranitidine-containing medicines to treat chronic digestive difficulties are at the greatest risk of developing cancer from the NDMA found in these medications.
The FDA does not want people to panic. The agency continues to explore how dangerous taking ranitidine drugs daily would be for patients in the long term. However, the initial results from tests conducted by the FDA on ranitidine medications revealed unacceptable levels of NDMA. The FDA did not disclose what those “unacceptable” levels were. Of note, NDMA may be consumed when eating certain meals, especially meat, and could also be in drinking water as well.
The FDA instructed consumers to change their medication if they were concerned about NDMA consumption. Tagamet, also known by its generic name Cimetidine, and Pepcid, known by its generic name famotidine, are popular choices for people who have stomach problems but want to avoid consuming NDMA. Pepcid and Tagamet may be purchased as over-the-counter medications. The FDA did not mandate a switch from ranitidine to another medication.
What Is the Issue With Zantac and Ranitidine?
The FDA has been engaged in an ongoing investigation of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) contamination in Zantac and other ranitidine medications. Researchers have found that the NDMA levels in certain ranitidine medications can increase over time, especially if the medicines are stored in warmer temperatures, reaching potentially dangerous levels.
NDMA is included in the nitrosamine family of chemical compounds and has been linked to liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer. Other nitrosamines are specific to smoking tobacco products and have been linked to lung cancer, tongue cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer.
In 2019, the FDA was informed that an independent drug-testing laboratory discovered traces of NDMA in ranitidine. Low levels of NDMA are commonly consumed in the diet, as the chemical is found in water and some foods. In low concentrations, NDMA is considered to be benign, but higher levels of exposure could raise the risk of developing cancer in people. The FDA administered its own laboratory testing and also found small traces of NDMA in ranitidine.
Who Is the Manufacturer of Zantac?
In the U.S., Sanofi possesses the rights to make and distribute Zantac. GlaxoSmithKline first manufactured Zantac in 1983 and sells it in the rest of the world.
What Is Ranitidine Used for in Adults?
Ranitidine is an H2 blocker and is primarily used to prevent or combat the symptoms of heartburn. It prevents the accumulation of stomach acid by blocking the histamine-2 molecules released during digestion. Taking Zantac or other ranitidine medications provides relief from stomach ailments related to excess accumulation of stomach acids, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn, and ulcers.
What Is NDMA?
NDMA is a chemical compound that was once used as rocket fuel but no longer has a useful purpose in the U.S. It’s the byproduct of many manufacturing processes, and as a result, it’s highly prevalent in our environment. Even the process we use to purify drinking water could create NDMA as a byproduct. The chlorination of both drinking water and wastewater at treatment plants creates NDMA in the water. Thus, we consume NDMA in the water we drink, the vegetables we eat, and the animals we eat.
The World Health Organization defines NDMA as a B2 carcinogen, a pollutant that probably causes cancer in humans. Ingestion or exposure to substantial amounts of NDMA could cause stomach or colon cancer. Furthermore, NDMA is highly toxic and has had deleterious effects on the human liver. Only a small amount of NDMA exposure may cause liver damage.
Experts know enough about NDMA to understand that people should not be consuming it in their medications. The concern for researchers is how much NDMA is too much. Although the FDA has established a maximum level of NDMA that people living in the U.S. can consume daily, the effect of adding NDMA from another source is unknown.
Through its research, the FDA calculated the odds of one person developing cancer from taking high blood pressure medication contaminated by NDMA. The FDA figured that 8,000 people would need to take medication contaminated by NDMA for four years to produce one additional cancer patient.
Have Zantac and Ranitidine Been Recalled?
Yes. The FDA also warned people taking over-the-counter ranitidine to cease taking any pills or liquid they currently possess, dispose of the medications properly, and not purchase more. The FDA instructed individuals who want to continue treating their medical condition to consider taking other approved over-the-counter products.
Sanofi Recall of Zantac
The FDA opened their investigation in September 2019 after independent testing detected substantial amounts of NDMA in ranitidine medications. In October 2019, Sanofi voluntarily recalled its over-the-counter Zantac tablets.
The FDA conducted its own testing and also concluded that the levels of NDMA in Zantac were high. But the FDA did not immediately declare the levels of NDMA it found to be extremely dangerous or caution people who use Zantac to stop taking their medication, despite their findings.
National drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens pulled Zantac and all other ranitidine medications off their shelves after learning about the test results.
Ranitidine Production Halted
Other companies recalled their ranitidine-based heartburn medications as well, including Apotex Corp. and Novartis. Novartis stated in September 2019 that the company’s Sandoz unit had halted the distribution of generic Zantac and issued a recall because of concerns the product might be contaminated with a probable human carcinogen. The company initiated an internal review to determine how their ranitidine became contaminated with NDMA. Novartis said that it would not resume production of ranitidine until the company answers that question and installs safeguards to prevent NDMA contamination in the future.
Which Ranitidine Products Have Been Recalled?
On April 1, 2020, the FDA announced a recall of all ranitidine medications due to NDMA contamination and the potential links between prescription ranitidine and cancer. The FDA requested that all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine products, including Zantac, immediately be removed from the market.
Is it Illegal to Sell Zantac?
Following the FDA’s request to remove all existing ranitidine (Zantac) products from the market, retailers and distributors must stop making these products available. For the time being, it is not for sale as either an over-the-counter or prescription medication.
Can I Get My Money Back From Zantac?
If you have unused Zantac or another ranitidine medication, you may be able to return it to the pharmacy or drugstore you bought it from for a refund. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA is recommending that consumers and patients dispose of these medicines and not return the store where the medication was purchased for a refund.
Will Ranitidine Be Back?
For the time being, it’s unclear whether or not ranitidine will return to the market, especially as more people consider filing a lawsuit for ranitidine injuries. In order to resume sales of ranitidine, a manufacturer must be able to prove that the medication is in a stable condition and the levels of NDMA present in the drug are safe and do not increase over time or due to temperature variations.
Is Ranitidine Stronger Than Zantac?
No: Ranitidine and Zantac are the same medication.
Are Other Related Medications Affected?
The FDA has not detected NDMA contamination in other heartburn drugs, including cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), and omeprazole (Prilosec).
Have Any Other Drugs Been Recalled for NDMA Contamination?
Yes. In 2018, the FDA learned that NDMA could also be found in certain blood pressure medications, including losartan, valsartan, and irbesartan. The FDA worked with the pharmaceutical companies that produced those medications to recall them.
Ranitidine Lawsuits and Your Legal Rights
Anyone who used Zantac and has received a diagnosis of cancer in the bladder, colon, rectum, esophagus, throat, nose, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate or stomach may have a legal cause of action. Plaintiffs may be able to seek damages on the grounds that the manufacturer knew about the potential problems with ranitidine and failed to inform consumers of the associated risks.
Is There a Lawsuit Against Zantac (Ranitidine)?
Yes. In fact, multiple class-action suits have been filed, including ones in California and Florida. These claims allege that the manufacturer of Zantac did not properly warn users that it contains above average levels of the chemical compound NDMA, which has been linked to several forms of cancer.
Why Did Plaintiffs File Ranitidine Lawsuits Against the Makers of Zantac?
The lawsuits filed against Sanofi claim that the company knew that consumers who ingested Zantac might develop cancer and did not alert the public.
Valisure, an online pharmacy that conducted tests of multiple ranitidine products, including Zantac, told the FDA they found excessive levels of NDMA in all lots tested. Valisure explained that ranitidine is not a stable compound. The medication’s component parts react together to form NDMA as a byproduct. The analysis detected NDMA in excess of 3 million nanograms per tablet in ranitidine products. The FDA’s daily limit on NDMA consumption is approximately 31,000 times smaller than the discovered amounts.
The scientific findings of Valisure and the FDA allow plaintiffs to proceed with lawsuits. Lawsuits allege that Sanofi knew or should have known that Zantac would yield dangerously high levels of NDMA. The lawsuits further allege that Sanofi failed to disclose potential dangers to consumers.
If you’re considering filing a Zantac lawsuit, the experienced attorneys at Parker Waichman can help. Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER today to get a free case evaluation and learn about your legal rights.
Serious Health Effects of Taking Contaminated Ranitidine
What Are the Side Effects of Long-Term Use of Ranitidine?
Long-term use of ranitidine can lead to side effects including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and/or stomach pain. In addition, NDMA contamination may cause several different types of cancer.
Is Zantac Causing Cancer?
Cases of cancer definitively linked to Zantac have not yet been reported, but since this drug was contaminated with a cancer-causing agent, it’s likely that cases will emerge.
What Type of Cancer Does Zantac Cause?
Research on NDMA has linked the chemical compound to several forms of cancer, including liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer.
People who have taken Zantac or over-the-counter ranitidine may have a legal cause of action for damages if they have been diagnosed with:
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Cancer in a fetus/baby in utero at the time Zantac was taken
- Liver disease
- Bladder cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectum cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Throat cancer
- Nose cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
What Are the Chances of Getting Cancer From Taking Zantac?
Studies are still being done on the connection between over-the-counter or prescription ranitidine and cancer. What has been concluded, however, is that taking larger than normal amounts of the chemical compound NDMA, found in Zantac, for a prolonged period can increase the possibility of an individual developing cancer.
Can Zantac Cause Birth Defects?
While research is still ongoing, babies exposed to Zantac may develop side effects or ailments including cleft palate, postnatal cancer, heart murmurs, headaches, rash, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or drowsiness.
Research on NDMA Birth Defects
A study from 1995 examined the effect alcohol would have on a fetus after the child’s mother was exposed to NDMA. The study found that there is a greater chance to pass NDMA and its cancer-causing properties to the fetus with alcohol exposure. The scientists concluded that children could develop childhood cancer after the child’s mother consumes anything containing NDMA.
The results of the study should be of grave concern to women who are or might become pregnant. Unwitting consumption of NDMA might cause birth defects, congenital disabilities, cancer, death, and fetal injury in mothers who took medications now recalled due to NDMA contamination.
The significance of these findings relates to the growth or formation of DNA adducts. DNA adducts are identified as parts of a gene that connect to a harmful substance that could develop into a cancer cell. The researchers found an increase in DNA adducts, or potential cancer-causing bodies, after they administered NDMA to their subjects. The studies indicate that the DNA adducts were higher in some fetal structures than in their mothers, especially in the placenta and liver of the fetus. The researchers concluded based on that information that the mothers did not metabolize NDMA and simply passed the carcinogen on to their child.
The scientists could use only eight subjects for the test, which does call into question the significance of the researchers’ findings. However, scientists believe that their study confirms the findings reached by other scientists studying a similar process in other animals.
Can Ranitidine Cause Heart Problems?
Although research has shown that taking ranitidine for prolonged periods of time can have adverse side effects such as headaches or stomach pain, no studies have revealed a connection between the medication and heart problems.
Does Zantac Affect Blood Pressure?
If taken as indicated, Zantac should have no effect on an individual’s blood pressure. Taking too much of the drug, however, can lead to an overdose that causes low blood pressure and dizziness.
Is Zantac Safe for the Liver?
There’s no definitive link between taking Zantac and developing liver disease, but the NDMA found in Zantac could increase the risk of liver disease.
Is it Safe to Take Ranitidine Every Day?
This should be left to your doctor’s discretion. When ranitidine is prescribed, your doctor may think you only need to take it for a few weeks or when symptoms present themselves. Other times, it may be prescribed for months at a time or longer.
What Happens if You Take Too Much Ranitidine?
According to experts in poison control, overdosing on ranitidine may cause drowsiness or dizziness due to low blood pressure. In children, other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. More severe or even life-threatening side effects are considered to be extremely rare.
What Medications Should Not Be Taken With Ranitidine?
Several medications should not be mixed with ranitidine, including loperamide, warfarin, metformin, theophylline, multivitamins, iron supplements, fentanyl, cancer treatments, epilepsy medications, anticoagulants, antifungal medications, and hepatitis and HIV medications.
Should I Stop Taking Ranitidine?
In the FDA’s recall notice, the agency advised consumers to speak with a doctor about possibly switching to a different medication. A physician can assess your needs and recommend which over-the-counter or prescription medication would be best for you. Additionally, a frank conversation with your doctor about whether you should use an antacid in the first place is appropriate.
What Is an Alternative to Zantac?
Three possible options to replace Zantac are Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), and Prilosec (omeprazole). Tagamet (cimetidine) and Pepcid (famotidine) are also popular choices for people who have stomach problems.
What Damages Could I Receive in a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit?
Typically, in a product liability case, our attorneys will seek the following forms of damages on behalf of our clients:
- Medical costs associated with the treatment of their cancer
- Costs associated with medications purchased to date and those necessary in the future
- Lost earnings
- Earnings that are expected to be lost in the future
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Damages for emotional and mental distress
In litigating product liability cases related to Zantac, our attorneys will seek the highest amount of compensation possible on behalf of our clients. Though jury awards and settlements can never be guaranteed, our firm aggressively pursues monetary justice for our clients.
At Parker Waichman, we know that a cancer diagnosis is devastating news for both victims and their families. Our product liability lawyers want to help ease the stress that has been wrongfully placed on you and your loved ones. Contact us to discuss your claim with a qualified lawyer. We serve clients nationwide.
How Much Are Zantac Lawsuit Settlement Amounts Likely to Be?
As litigation of Zantac cases is ongoing, it’s impossible to know exactly how much your lawsuit for ranitidine injuries may be worth if you win. However, it’s likely that cases will be resolved with a global settlement that would award compensation based on the severity of each plaintiff’s injuries: The most severely affected could get $500,000, for instance, while those with less serious health issues could be worth $100,000 or less. Remember, though, that settlement amounts are never guaranteed.
How Much Does Hiring a Zantac Lawsuit Attorney Cost?
When you work with Parker Waichman, skilled representation will cost you nothing out of pocket. We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that your Zantac cancer lawyer will be paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award. If we don’t secure compensation for you, we get nothing.
Is There a Losartan Class-Action Lawsuit?
Yes. Filed in May 2019, a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers of losartan seeks damages for those who bought this hypertension drug, which was contaminated with NDMA.
Statutes of Limitations and Your Legal Rights
Statutes of limitations apply to every legal case in the country, including Zantac litigation. Statutes of limitations set a deadline by which your case must be filed in court. Your Zantac cancer case’s statute of limitations is determined by several factors, including the state where you live, the extent and nature of your injuries, and the date on which you were diagnosed. It’s important to seek help from a lawyer as soon as you think you might have grounds for a lawsuit in order to protect your legal rights: If you do not file your case by the deadline, you will be barred from seeking compensation.
Why Choose Parker Waichman for Your Zantac Cancer Case?
Parker Waichman has the experience and resources necessary to tackle complex cases like Zantac litigation. Through dedicated advocacy, our firm has secured more than $2 billion in compensation on behalf of injury victims and their families. While providing outstanding results to our clients, our law firm has also earned notable honors from our peers, including a 9.8 out of 10 AVVO rating and inclusion in Best Lawyers. We invite you to review our firm’s results to see what we’ve been able to accomplish on behalf of our clients.
Get Help From Our Zantac Lawsuit Attorneys for Free
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer caused by Zantac, act quickly to safeguard your right to compensation. Contact Parker Waichman today for a free case evaluation with no obligation. Just call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER or fill out our contact form to get started.
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