In early April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested drug manufacturers remove Zantac (and its generic ranitidine equivalents) from the market after an ongoing investigation revealed harmful impurities in the heartburn medication.
Ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac, contains a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable cancer-causing carcinogen. The levels of NDMA increase over time or when stored at higher-than-room temperatures, posing a risk to public health.
If you or your loved one has experienced the harmful effects of the defective drug Zantac, it’s best to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
What is Zantac?
Manufactured by drug maker Sanofi, Zantac is a popular prescription or over the counter (OTC) acid reducer used to decrease stomach acid to treat and / or prevent ulcers in the stomach (i.e. heartburn).
What should I do if I took Zantac?
If you’re currently taking Zantac, stop. The FDA advises consumers safely dispose of the medication immediately and not buy more. Follow the disposal instructions provided on the package by flushing it down the toilet or discarding it in your trash. The FDA does not recommend disposing of Zantac at a drug take-back site, given the current coronavirus crisis.
For those who wish to continue treating their condition, consider using other FDA-approved OTC acid reducers, found here.
As for patients taking prescription ranitidine, the FDA recommends that you talk with your doctor about alternative treatment options. There are several drugs approved for similar uses that do not carry the contaminant NDMA.
Who is responsible for defective drugs?
Drug companies undergo exhaustive testing to prove their drugs are safe. However, with the influx of drugs available today, some are deemed safe only to be later recalled.
This poses a serious risk to consumers who are unaware of the dangerous side affects that may arise as a result of taking the drug. The same stands true for the Zantac situation.
In September 2019, Valisure, an online pharmacy that certifies and validates medications, informed the FDA that it had found the cancer-causing contaminant in batches of Zantac.
While retailers and pharmacies pulled formulas of Zantac from their shelves, many manufacturers continued to make ranitidine products, withholding key information from consumers. As a result, several cases of cancer have come to light, with lawsuits claiming drug manufacturers knew the dangers of NDMA, but failed to properly warn the public of the health risks.
Do I qualify for a lawsuit?
If you developed cancer as a result of taking Zantac, you may be eligible to file a claim against the drug manufacturer. An experienced attorney will properly evaluate your claim and help you gather medical records as evidence to build your case.
Potential claimants have to prove they took Zantac or other ranitidine products, resulting in a cancer diagnosis.
Types of cancer linked to NDMA include:
People are more at risk for cancer if exposed to higher doses over a long period of time. Thus, if you or your loved one took Zantac prior to a cancer diagnosis, you may receive compensation for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Have you experienced the harmful effects of a defective drug? Get the compensation you deserve.
If you are concerned that Zantac may have caused your or your family member cancer, we encourage you to contact our experienced attorneys. Chicago-based Hurley McKenna & Mertz has over 20 years of experience representing victims injured by dangerous drugs. We have the wherewithal to go up against the big drug manufacturers to fight hard for every dollar of compensation you deserve.