Zantac is an antacid medication that has been used to treat and prevent a variety of issues including, heartburn, ulcers in the stomach and intestines, acid reflux, and a host of other stomach, throat, and gastrointestinal issues.
However, Zantac has been withdrawn from the market in the United States, as Zantac brand heartburn drugs may be linked to multiple types of cancer and various other complications.
If you have taken Zantac and have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
As of March 2020, over 140 Zantac lawsuits have been filed and claim that Zantac can be contaminated with the cancer-causing substance N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). In addition to causing cancer, NDMA is a potent hepatotoxin. Short term exposure to NDMA can cause liver damage. Long term exposure can increase the risk of liver, kidney and lung tumors.
On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported the discovery of the carcinogenic contaminant NDMA in Zantac (ranitidine), a common heartburn medication available in both prescription and over-the-counter products. Ranitidine is the generic name for the drug Zantac.
On April 1, 2020, the FDA announced that all Zantac brand heartburn drugs, prescription and over-the-counter, should be immediately recalled from the market because of NDMA contamination.
At issue in the lawsuits is whether the manufacturers and distributors knew or should have known Zantac (ranitidine) had been contaminated with an industrial chemical known to cause cancer.
The exact cause of the NDMA contamination is still under investigation. However, the FDA is advising consumers taking OTC ranitidine to stop taking any tablets or liquid they currently have, dispose of them properly and not buy more; for those who wish to continue treating their heartburn, they should consider using other approved OTC products. With regard to patients taking prescription ranitidine, the FDA advises patients to speak with their healthcare professional about other treatment options before stopping the medicine, as there are multiple drugs approved for the same or similar uses as ranitidine that do not carry the same risks from NDMA. To date, the FDA’s testing has not found NDMA in Pepcid, Tagemet, Nexium, Prevacid, or Prilosec. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA recommends consumers not take their medicines to a drug take-back location, but follow the specific disposal instructions in the medication guide or package insert.
On April 1st, 2020, the FDA announced it is requesting manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately.
This is the latest step in an ongoing investigation of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications (commonly known by the brand name Zantac). NDMA is a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer). The FDA has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity. As a result of this immediate market withdrawal request, ranitidine products will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or OTC use in the U.S.