Individuals who used Zantac and were diagnosed with cancer may be eligible to pursue a claim and seek financial compensation.
Zantac is a medication used for the treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers and to alleviate symptoms of hyperacidity in the stomach. It works by decreasing stomach acid production. In 2019, the FDA discovered a carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in Zantac. As a result, Zantac lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim. The lawsuits allege that these companies failed to inform consumers about the carcinogenic contamination, and allege that they were aware of the contamination but chose not to disclose the information.
If you or a loved one has used Zantac and developed cancer, contact Maxwell Law Group today. We can answer your questions and review your case for free.
What is Zantac?
Zantac (generic name: ranitidine) is a medication used to decrease acid production in the stomach. It can alleviate symptoms of hyperacidity, which is one of the causes of heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and erosive esophagitis. It is also used for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Zantac’s generic form, ranitidine, received FDA approval in October 1984. Sanofi currently manufactures Zantac, and Boehringer Ingelheim produced it prior to Sanofi.
Zantac Quick Facts
Decreases acid production in the stomach
Cancer risk due to carcinogen impurity
Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim
How Does Zantac Work?
Zantac belongs to a class of drugs called H2 (histamine-2) blockers. It hinders the production of acid in the stomach by blocking histamine, a chemical that stimulates cells in the stomach to produce acid.
Excessive acid can damage the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, and cause inflammation and ulceration. Heartburn happens when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus and causes pain in the chest and throat. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder where the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach is weakened, allowing food and stomach acids to flow back up into the esophagus. Zantac helps treat both of these conditions.
Risks and Warnings
The FDA announced in September 2019 that it found samples of an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine medicines, including Zantac. NDMA is a probable human carcinogen. As a result, several pharmaceutical companies announced a voluntary recall of their ranitidine products, including Sandoz, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite-Aid, and Apotex Corp. Sanofi followed suit announcing a recall on over the counter ranitidine products in October 2019.
In November 2019, the FDA released the initial laboratory reports of ranitidine testing. The agency found out that the contamination level of NDMA in ranitidine is low, although the levels were 3,000 to 26,000 times more than what is considered to be safe.
The agency advised additional independent testing for each manufacturer before making the drugs available to consumers. Several drug manufacturers and re-packaging companies continued to announce a voluntary recall of ranitidine.
NDMA and Cancer
A study published in 2015 found that increased consumption of nitrites, nitrates, and NDMA was associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.
The risk of developing cancer among individuals that had higher exposure to these chemicals is 35% greater than those who had lower consumption.
Another study in April 2019 found a link between increased NDMA intake and pancreatic cancer. Questionnaires regarding the frequency of foods high in NDMA were given to a group of pancreatic cancer patients with a control group for comparison.
The researchers concluded that people who had a higher intake of NDMA had a 93% greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those in the control group.
In November 2019, a motion was filed by a group of plaintiffs to the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all Zantac lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL). The petition suggests New Jersey as the location for the MDL since it is also the location where Valsartan lawsuits are currently consolidated in similar litigation. (Valsartan is another drug contaminated with NDMA, and one that is the subject of hundreds of lawsuits.)
In February 2020, a multidistrict litigation for consolidated Zantac lawsuits was created (MDL 2924) in Southern Florida.
The FDA requested manufacturers of ranitidine products to remove it from the market on April 2020. New tests show ranitidine is a risk to public health.
As of April 2021, more than 500 Zantac cases have been filed under MDL 2924.
The Zantac lawsuits allege that Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim knew or should have known about the NDMA contamination but did not warn consumers of the risk. These companies continued to manufacture and market Zantac as a safe heartburn medication despite the carcinogenic NDMA contamination.
How Maxwell Law Group Can Help
If you or a loved one used Zantac and was diagnosed with cancer, Maxwell Law Group can help get you the compensation you deserve. Call (844) 525-7155 or fill out the form below and we’ll investigate your case at no cost to you.
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