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Have you or a family member been diagnosed with cancer after using the popular heartburn medication, Zantac (ranitidine), or a generic version of the drug? If so, you may be eligible to recover compensation for the physical, emotional and financial harm that you have suffered. Contact Marks & Harrison as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options.
What Ingredient In Zantac Causes Cancer?
In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it found low levels of the probable human carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), in ranitidine products such as Zantac. In the months since, the manufacturers and distributors of these medications, including Zantac manufacturer Sanofi, have issued voluntary recalls. Major pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens have also pulled the products from their shelves. However, for many consumers, these actions may have come too late.
As one of the largest personal injury law firms in Virginia, with more than a century of history, Marks & Harrison has the experience and resources to seek justice for you and your loved ones if you have suffered harm from using Zantac or a generic equivalent. To discuss your case with a member of our defective products litigation team, contact us today and receive a free consultation.
What Is the Problem with Zantac?
Ranitidine is an over-the-counter and prescription drug that has been commonly sold in the U.S. under the brand name, Zantac, since 1983. GlaxoSmithKline initially manufactured and sold the drug. It then sold those rights to Boehringer Ingelheim, which in turn sold them to Zantac’s current manufacturer and seller, Sanofi, in 2017. Companies such as Sandoz and Apotex sell generic versions.
Zantac belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 (histamine-2) blockers. Over-the-counter versions of the drug are designed to lower stomach acid levels and to prevent and relieve heartburn and acid indigestion. Doctors also prescribe the drug for treatment of ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
However, on September 9, 2019, the online pharmacy, Valisure, filed a citizen petition with the FDA, urging the agency to request a recall and suspension of sales of ranitidine. Valisure said that it took this action after it detected “extremely high levels” of NDMA in every lot of ranitidine that it had tested, “across multiple manufacturers and dosage forms.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are among the many organizations which have declared NDMA to be a probable human carcinogen, or a substance that could cause cancer. The FDA previously requested recalls of blood pressure and heart failure medications such as Valsartan due to high levels of NDMA.
What Type Of Cancer Does Zantac Cause?
The types of cancer which may be associated with ranitidine include:
- Liver cancer
- Stomach cancer (and other cancers affecting the gastrointestinal system)
- Intestinal cancer
- Colorectal cancer
The drug may also be linked to non-cancerous liver and gastrointestinal diseases.
Have Zantac and Other Heartburn Medications Been Recalled?
On September 13, 2019, the FDA announced that it had found “low levels” of NDMA in preliminary testing of ranitidine products. The agency said it would continue to investigate “the source of this impurity” and examine whether the NDMA levels posed a risk to consumers taking these heartburn medications. The FDA did not request a recall of Zantac or its generic versions.
However, since the FDA’s announcement, several manufacturers and sellers of these heartburn medications have initiated voluntarily recalls. Notably, CVS and Walgreens removed Zantac and all generic ranitidine products from its stores, while on October 18, 2019, Sanofi voluntarily recalled all over-the-counter versions of Zantac, including:
- Zantac 150
- Zantac 150 Cool Mint
- Zantac 75
Among the many other companies which have initiated voluntary recalls of ranitidine products are Sandoz, Inc., Apotex Corp., Perrigo Company plc, Novitium Pharma LLC and Lannett Company, Inc.
What Should You Do If You Have Taken Zantac?
You should also ask your doctor about alternatives to Zantac and ranitidine generic products. The FDA reportIf you have used Zantac or generic ranitidine for any period of time, you should pay close attention to your health and any symptoms of liver or gastrointestinal cancer and seek proper medical attention. According to the American Cancer Society, those signs include:
- Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite
- Vomiting or nausea
- Feeling of fullness under the right side of the ribs (enlarged liver)
- Fullness under the left side of the ribs (enlarged spleen)
- Abdominal painz
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
The FDA reports that it found no NDMA in over-the-counter medications such as Pepcid (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole).
If you have been diagnosed with cancer or other forms of liver or gastrointestinal disease, you should also seek help from an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as possible. Patients and families who believe their lives have been impacted by ranitidine-related cancer are now filing Zantac lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country.
How Can Our Zantac Cancer Lawyers Help You?
Our attorneys at Marks & Harrison are now conducting thorough investigations of individual cases involving potential Zantac-related cancer and other diseases. Several questions remained unanswered in these cases, including whether Sanofi and other manufacturers and sellers of ranitidine knew about cancer risks associated with their products but failed to warn consumers about those risks.
Consumers who have filed Zantac cancer lawsuits have taken different approaches to pursuing just compensation, including filing and participating in class-action lawsuits and filing individual claims in state and federal courts. Recently, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all Zantac federal court lawsuits alleging similar claims to be consolidated for litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (MDL No. 2924).
Your lawyer from Marks & Harrison will help you to understand all of your legal options and work with you to pursue the option which best meets your needs and goals. We will aggressively take all steps on your behalf to pursue full and fair compensation, and we will make sure to update and inform you throughout the process. Your case will be our top priority, and we will never leave you in the dark.
Get Help from Our Virginia Zantac Cancer Attorneys Today
Drug manufacturers owe a duty to ensure that their products are safe when consumers use them as intended or to warn them about possible risks associated with their products. When they fail to do so, they should be held fully accountable. At Marks & Harrison, we are ready to pursue that justice for you.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm from taking Zantac or a generic version of ranitidine, contact us now to discuss your case. Our initial consultations are always free. We will also charge no costs or fees unless we secure a financial recovery for you.