The FDA recently announced that the popular heartburn medication could be causing Zantac cancer. The agency found that Zantac 150 tablets contain a carcinogenic chemical up to 3,000 times greater than the FDA’s daily intake limit. The carcinogenic chemical present in Zantac is known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”). Since the 1980s, numerous studies have linked NDMA in Zantac and cancer. However, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, the pharmaceutical giants behind Zantac, concealed the link for decades while they made billions.
About Zantac Cancer
On September 13, 2019, the FDA reported the discovery of the carcinogenic contaminant N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in Zantac (ranitidine). Zantac is a common heartburn medication available in both prescription and over-the-counter versions. The FDA says the levels are low, however, researchers found the numbers to be almost 30,000 times higher than safe doses. Multiple studies from various sources have said that the body turns the active molecule in Zantac, ranitidine, into NDMA.
NDMA is a chemical component used in aviation and rocket fuel and industrial lubricants. It is also a by-product of several industrial processes, including gasoline refining and the treatment of wastewater containing nitrogen. Also, researchers use NDMA to cause cancer in rats. The Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 classified NDMA as extremely hazardous. Around 1 in 1000 people will get cancer due to NDMA. No dose is risk-free, however the FDA said a daily limit of the chemical is 96 ng. NDMA is so potent that it’s only practical purpose is the toxin of choice to induce tumors in lab animals. NDMA initiates and promotes cancer growth.
NDMA Cancer Studies
In 2016, researchers at Stanford University studied 5 male and 5 female healthy adults. Each received a single 150 mg Zantac tablet. They tested their urine 24 hours before ingestion and 24 hours after. They discovered NDMA in their urine that averaged 47,600 ng per person. One had 74,100 ng. The natural daily limit is 96 ng. This is almost 500 times the recommended limit! The most shocking is that only 5% of the NDMA comes in the urine. The body absorbs most of it. These NDMA excretion rates catapult the risk of Zantac cancer.
Valisure the online pharmacy routinely bath tests medications to test for impurities. The company discovered NDMA in Zantac using gold standard testing measures. The findings revealed 2.4 MILLION NDMA per ng in a 150 mg tablet. Their study concluded that ranitidine (the Zantac molecule) itself turns into NDMA within the human body.
Emery Pharmaceutical Study
Emery Pharmaceutical took various dosages of ranitidine pills and exposed them to heat. Even with heat and not any other environments, there is a huge increased rate of NDMA. If the manufacturer kept Zantac cool during the shipment process, NDMA could have possibly been avoided.
In 1981, Dr. De Flora published a letter in the Lancet journal detailing their findings that ranitidine became more potent when exposed to the stomach. The letter warned about nitrites and ranitidine, and how it could turn ranitidine unstable. GSK responded to the article and criticized the researcher. The company admitted that ranitidine can lead to NDMA, but insisted that no one would have the levels of nitrites in the body to make this a problem.
However, during this time GSK was performing their own study into gastric flora and the effects with ranitidine. If a subject took the medication for longer than a month, the body produces higher nitrites in the stomach since the chemical compound kills off all the bacteria in the stomach that prevents the forming of nitrites. Therefore, they knew that prolonged use of Zantac could cause NDMA!
Exposure to high doses of NDMA can cause cancer after one year of use. These include stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic and colon cancers. It also causes testicular cancer in children. Researchers tied the Zantac cancer link to these medications:
- 150 Tablets both Maximum Strength regular and Cool Mint
- Zantac 75 Tablets
- Wal-Zan 150
- Wal-Zan 75
- Heartburn Relief (ranitidine)
- Acid Reducer (ranitidine)
- Acid Control (ranitidine)
Types of Zantac Cancer
The different cancers tied to Zantac use are:
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Uterine cancer
Cancers can form after as little as 6 months of use.
In September 2019, the FDA found low levels of the nitrosamine impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in some Zantac (ranitidine) dosages. The agency recalled 14 lots of prescription ranitidine capsules from manufacturer Sandoz, Inc.
Then two days later, the FDA announced an expanded recall of various OTC versions of ranitidine manufactured by Apotex Corporation and generics labeled by Walgreens, Walmart, and Riteaid due to NDMA contamination.
Similar contamination in heart medicines is also under investigation.
Health officials in Canada have asked all companies that make brand-name and generic versions of Zantac to stop distribution of the heartburn treatment in that country.
The first Zantac lawsuit was filed in California the day the FDA issued its advisory. Plaintiffs accuse drugmakers Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim of manufacturing, marketing, and selling a product they knew or should have known had been contaminated with an industrial chemical known to cause cancer.
On January 30, 2020, the first JPML was approved. We are currently picking a location for these cases.
Your Zantac Cancer Attorney
When manufacturers produce unsafe products that create pain and suffering, you deserve compensation. Although no amount of money will change the fact that you have suffered a serious injury because of manufacturer irresponsibility, compensation will help offset your current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you have experienced. By filing, you may also help protect other women and their families from needless distress.
How We Can Help
When you experience side effects from a dangerous drug, it can have devastating effects to your entire life. You may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of an ability to work; and
- Pain and suffering
If a person dies from complications from a drug, family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Loss of economic support; and
- Loss of companionship
If a jury finds the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling the drug to be highly reckless, they may award punitive damages to punish the company. Also, this deters similar conduct in the future. If you developed cancer after taking Zantac, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.
Therefore, if you have experienced stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic or colon cancer after taking Zantac for a year, you may be eligible for compensation to offset your financial, physical and emotional burdens. Contact us today to set up a free consultation during which we will listen to your story and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.