Zantac Cancer Lawsuit

The FDA has warned that heartburn medication Zantac may be contaminated with NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), an industrial chemical, known to be carcinogenic. People who were diagnosed with stomach cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer or colon cancer after taking Zantac may be filing Zantac cancer lawsuits.

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Zantac Lawsuit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that heartburn medication Zantac and generic products containing ranitidine, may contain a known carcinogen, NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine). NDMA is an industrial chemical often found in petroleum-based products such as gasoline, diesel fuel and industrial lubricants.

Zantac’s manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis has voluntarily recalled its Zantac medications and some drugstores and pharmacies including national chain and big-box stores like CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and others have pulled Zantac and store brand or generic ranitidine products off of their shelves over concerns about unacceptable levels of the carcinogenic compound.

People who developed cancer after taking Zantac may be filing lawsuits against Zantac’s manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis. People who may be eligible for compensation include those who:

Took Zantac prescription or over-the-counter medication regularly for at least 60 days and were diagnosed with:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Stomach or gastric cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colon or intestinal cancer

If cancer diagnosis occurred more than 6 months after Zantac use was stopped, it must have been taken for more than 1 year on a regular basis.

FDA Zantac and Ranitidine Warning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with European health agencies are warning that popular heartburn medication Zantac, and store-brand or other generic formulations of ranitidine, may contain a probable carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NDMA is an environmental contaminant that is sometimes found in water and foods. Itis an organic compound used as a chemical stabilizer in gasoline, diesel fuel, rocket fuel and other petroleum-based products.

NDMA is also a byproduct of manufacturing of pesticides and other chemicals and is classified as a potential carcinogen. Zantac and other ranitidine heartburn products have been tested to contain NDMA levels that are 3,000 to 26,000 times higher than legally allowed by the FDA.

Previous NDMA Contamination of Drugs Separate from Zantac Concerns

Within the last year, NDMA contamination has been found in other medications including a number of the Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) group of medications used to treat high blood pressure.

Diovan and products containing ARB medication valsartan have been recalled or pulled from the U.S. market after multiple lots of the active ingredient have been shown to be contaminated with NDMA and other chemicals. All of the valsartan products appear to have been made with active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) that originated in China or India chemical manufacturing plants.

This type of contamination does not appear to be the cause of Zantac’s problems which may have originated in the drug itself which may be unstable under certain conditions. Some experts have postulated that the problem may have existed since the 1980s but is only now being recognized.

Zantac and Ranitidine Recalled

Zantac is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, while other formulations of ranitidine are made by generic divisions of companies such as Novartis-AG’s Sandoz unit, Apotex and GlaxoSmithKline. Sanofi has voluntarily recalled its Zantac products and other manufacturers have also issued voluntary recalls or stopped sales of generic formulations of ranitidine due to carcinogenic concerns.. Sales in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Taiwan, India and countries in the European Union have all halted sales.

Concerns over Zantac and generic ranitidine may reach back to the 1980s but testing methods during that period may have been much less accurate and less clear.

Manufacturers have been asked to examine each step of manufacturing including synthesis, formulation and storage to determine whether certain conditions may be contributing to NDMA formation. The FDA is also in the process of studying how the medication interacts with stomach-type fluids in the laboratory and has undertaken the task of conducting human studies to determine what human factors may be involved.

The FDA has not mandated a national recall, but in addition to manufacturers issuing voluntary recalls, multiple stores have also pulled products from their shelves. Retailers including CVS, Walmart and Walgreens, along with others selling various generic formulations have discontinued sales until further notice. The FDA has also asked manufacturers to quickly respond with voluntary recalls if other medications appear to have the same NDMA issues, including another anti-ulcer medication nizatidine, active ingredient in Axid.

Experts have not recommended immediate discontinuation of Zantac but have advised that patients discuss changes to their medications with a health care professional as a number of antacid alternatives are available.

Zantac Cancer Effects

Health experts have indicated that short term cancer risk of high NDMA levels in Zantac or ranitidine medications may be low but longer-term exposure is not well defined. In industrial use, NDMA has been clearly shown to be a potential carcinogen.

Cancers that may be related to NDMA exposure include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Zantac or Ranitidine Cancer Lawsuit

People or loved ones of those who have been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac may be eligible for compensation.

People who took Zantac regularly for more than 60 days and were diagnosed with cancer including:

  • Gastric or stomach cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Bladder cancer

People who were diagnosed with one of these cancers more than 6 months after discontinuing ranitidine use but had taken prescription or brand name Zantac for more than 1 year on a regular basis.

Damages awarded in past drug injury cases have included:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death

Those who may be affected by Zantac cancer risk who may be eligible to file a Zantac lawsuit and should seek legal advice.

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