Zantac and Cancer: What you Need to Know

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About 15 million people in the United States regularly used the prescription version of Zantac or similar drugs, while millions more used the over-the-counter variety. Now, these drugs have been pulled from the shelves, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to throw away any of these medications they still have in their homes. This is due to the terrifying risk of cancer developing from using these medications. 

About Zantac

The pharmaceutical Zantac and its generic form known as ranitidine are used to treat heartburn, acid indigestion, GERD, ulcers, and erosive esophagitis. Lower-dose versions were available over the counter, while a stronger formula was prescribed to millions of Americans. The drug was introduced in 1983 and, within five years, became the top-selling medication in the world and the first to top $1 billion in sales. Prior to its recall, Zantac was manufactured and sold by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. 

Cancer Risks

Regulators in the United States and Europe recalled blood pressure medication valsartan, which contained ranitidine, in 2018, and then immediately began looking at other drugs that contained ranitidine. This is because researchers discovered the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in such drugs, which is a carcinogen. In late 2019, the FDA stated it found unacceptable NDMA levels in medications with ranitidine and issued a recall for Zantac and all its generic counterparts. 

While stores have stopped selling Zantac, millions of people have used the drug for years, which means they have been ingesting the cancer-causing NDMA. According to the FDA, you should not have more than 96 nanograms of NDMA per day to remain safe. One tablet of Zantac Cool Mint contained 3,267,968 nanograms, and many people took one tablet every 12 hours. 

High levels of NDMA will not affect everyone, though it can cause life-threatening cancer in some Zantac users. This includes various forms of cancer, such as:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cancer in the small and large intestines
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

If you have been diagnosed with any of the above types of cancer after taking ranitidine, you should get the treatment you need, and also speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights. 

Discuss Any Concerns with Our Fargo Personal Injury Lawyers

Manufacturers who sell dangerous drugs should be held fully accountable for the harm caused to consumers, and you should set up your free case evaluation immediately. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, Tim O’Keeffe, Tatum O’Brien, or Sara Monson by email, or call O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.