Your doctor recommended a drug manufacturers represented as completely safe. You might have taken Zantac or its generic Ranitidine for heartburn, peptic ulcer disease or acid reflux. It treated your symptoms, but it also contained carcinogens. If now you're battling cancer, Zantac could be the cause.
According to the EPA, the carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a "priority pollutant" that once was used to make rocket fuel and industrial lubricants. It occurs as a by-product when manufacturers make pesticides, rubber, dye and other products.
It's bad stuff, and experts have known about it for a long time. In 1986 the Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) classified NDMA as "extremely hazardous." People can be exposed to it through using NDMA containing toiletries, eating some types of meat or inhaling cigarette smoke. But most don't expect to swallow it in something that's supposed to be good for them.
The FDA and multiple European health agencies warn they've found NDMA in Zantac and the generic Ranitidine. No one is sure how it got there, but the levels are between 3,000 and 26,000 times the legally allowed rate.
When ranitidine comes in contact with water, it causes a chemical reaction that leads to NDMA formation. Drug makers knew this. But they kept it to themselves. They didn’t tell the governments where Zantac and its generics were sold, and they didn’t warn consumers. They just marketed the product as a treatment for heartburn and other digestive issues.
They did it because they wanted to make money. Basically, to get your dollars they took the risk their drug might give people cancer. And not only that, because ranitidine or Zantac decrease the production of stomach acid, taking it might actually mask the symptoms of stomach cancer, so victims don’t seek treatment until their condition is advanced. NDMA has been linked to these types of cancer:
In 2016, Zantac was the 50th most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 16 million prescriptions. Then in September of 2019, the FDA announced the discovery of NDMA and major chains like CVS and Walgreens pulled it from their shelves. The day the FDA released the warning, plaintiffs filed the first Zantac lawsuits in California.
Health Canada asked all manufacturers to stop making and distributing ranitidine drugs until they can produce it without NDMA. But the crazy thing is, not all ranitidine medicines marketed in the U.S. are being recalled. So people who don’t know about the issues might continue taking this potentially dangerous medication.
The FDA admits it doesn’t know how long NDMA has been present in Zantac. They just say they’re “conducting further tests.”
Cancer isn’t the only possible complication connected to Zantac or ranitidine. NDMA is a liver toxin. Long-term exposure can damage your liver, kidneys and lungs. Experts also associate Zantac with nervous system disorders, an irregular or rapid heartbeat, an increased risk of respiratory illness and other serious health issues.
When Monsour Law Firm has worked with victims in other drug injury cases, they have received compensation that included amounts for the following: