Like many medications, Zantac and its generic equivalent, ranitidine, were brought to market with a list of long-term side effects. According to the Product Monograph published by Sanofi Consumer Health Inc., some of the published long-term side effects of Zantac include:
- Nausea or other stomach problems, like indigestion or constipation
- Pain in the stomach or abdominal region
Many medications come with a lengthy list of side effects, so the possible byproducts of taking Zantac may not have caused immediate alarm to most people.
Since the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published Safety Information related to Zantac in September 2019, Zantac and ranitidine were pulled off store shelves. Manufacturers of the drug and other liable parties have been facing lawsuits that allege that their negligence caused an unknown number of cancer diagnoses.
Unpublished Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac Are a Great Risk to Consumers
The idea of publishing side effects on a television advertisement, pill bottle, or the side of a box containing a certain medication has a clear intent: the consumer can understand the risks associated with the medication and make an informed decision about whether they want to ingest it.
The opposite is true as well: when a consumer is not aware of every single risk associated with a medication, then they cannot make an informed decision. Consumers could be at a dangerous risk where they are unaware that cancer is a possible reaction to ingesting Zantac.
Zantac was found to contain unsafe levels of a compound referred to as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in 2019. NDMA is categorized by the FDA as a “probable carcinogen,” and yet it has existed in Zantac for years without public awareness.
Nowhere on the label for Zantac and its generic versions—or in television advertisements for the massively-popular antacid medication—did it state that individuals who consume Zantac may be at an elevated risk of developing cancer.
Yet, it is now clear that those who consumed Zantac and its alternative forms prior to September 2019 may have been at an elevated risk of developing cancer.
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You May Have Grounds for Legal Action Due to the Long-Term Side Effects of Zantac
You may have grounds for legal action, specifically for joining Zantac (ranitidine) products liability litigation via the United States District Court.
If you were diagnosed with cancer that could be caused by exposure to carcinogenic factors in Zantac, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation. You have a right to know that consuming Zantac could expose you to a higher risk of developing cancer. That right was violated by the companies that manufactured and distributed the medication.
A lawyer will help you understand who is responsible for violating your right to make informed decisions about your health. Multiple parties could be liable for cancer-related harm that has affected you and your family. Possible defendants include:
- The various pharmaceutical companies that have manufactured, advertised for, and sold Zantac over the years
- The pharmaceutical companies that manufactured and sold generic forms and other forms of Zantac
- Any party who failed to warn you about the risks of Zantac (if they should have been aware of those risks)
Somebody May Be Financially Responsible for Your Losses
It is clear at this point that negligence at various levels led to millions of people being exposed to risk if they consumed Zantac or a pharmaceutical equivalent. Once a lawyer helps pinpoint who you may be able to sue, then you could be on your way to collecting awards for cancer-related losses.
Every case is unique, but some possible awards include compensation for:
- The cost of medical procedures and care required to diagnose and treat your cancer
- The cost of travel to and from cancer-related medical appointments
- The cost of physical and psychological rehabilitation that originated from your cancer or resulting treatment
- Income that you have forfeited due to treatment time, recovery time, and any other factor stemming from your cancer
- Pain and suffering
If you lost a loved one to a form of cancer that you believe may have been caused by consuming Zantac, then you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the liable parties. A wrongful death claim may result in some of the forms of financial awards listed above, as well as:
- Funeral expenses
- The loss of companionship, comfort, and protection of the deceased
- Financial protection, such as future wages, forfeited by the deceased
We may be able to pursue other forms of compensation, as well.
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Do Other Drugs Contain NDMA?
Ranitidine isn’t the only consumer product that contains NDMA. In fact, NDMA occurs in many foods, like cheese, beer, and roasted meats. This compound is also a byproduct of tanning, pesticide manufacturing, and tire manufacturing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Historically, NDMA has been studied by wastewater scientists.
Thankfully, the NDMA concentrations in most consumables are usually low enough to not cause harm.
However, since 2018, a range of medications have been recalled for the same reason as ranitidine; they contained potentially dangerous levels of NDMA. They include:
- Valsartan: Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). This type of medication is used to treat high blood pressure. In 2018, specific lots of Valsartan were recalled because of its NDMA amounts. A slew of other ARBs were involved in this recall, including irbesartan and losartan.
- Nizatidine: This medication is used to treat heartburn and other esophageal disorders. Like Valsartan, specific lots of Nizatidine faced a recall in 2020.
- Metformin: Metformin helps type 2 diabetics control their bodies’ insulin response. As recently as 2021, this product faced recalls due to the presence of NDMA. Notably, these recalls didn’t impact the most common form of metformin, oral release. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has a searchable list of recent metformin recalls.
It’s worth noting that many of these recalls were precautionary measures. Similarly, these recalls were limited to specific lots of medication. For example, most forms of metformin are still available for purchase.
Just because you were taking any of these products doesn’t mean that you’ve been exposed to high levels of NDMA. If you’re concerned about your exposure levels, we recommend that you consult a doctor.
Similarly, if you’re curious about the legal ramifications of your exposure, consider contacting a law firm.
How Do We Know That NDMA Is Dangerous?
As noted earlier, NDMA is considered a “probable carcinogen.” This classification, dubbed “group 2A” by the World Health Organization, means that the compound has been shown to cause cancer in animals but not verified as a carcinogen in humans.
According to Chemical Engineering and News, in 2020, the prevalence of NDMA in food products probably isn’t worth panicking about. It suggested that the compound could result in a “small increase” in the likelihood of cancer. Still, even a “small” risk isn’t acceptable.
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