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Does Zantac Cause Cancer?

Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC

Zantac was first linked to cancer on September 9, 2019, when Valisure pharmacy sent a citizen’s petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At this time, countless consumers were using Zantac to prevent and treat heartburn under the assumption that the drug was safe.

Private testing, however, indicated “extremely high levels of N-Nitrososdimethylamine,” or NDMA, which is a probable human carcinogen, or a substance that could cause cancer. Although NDMA is largely harmless in small doses, the amount of the environmental contaminant found in Zantac exceeded the amount allowed by the FDA.

The FDA Investigation

Soon after receiving Valisure’s petition, the FDA launched an investigation of Zantac and its active ingredient, ranitidine. As a result of this announcement, countless manufacturers issued voluntary recalls of their ranitidine products and Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite-Aid took Zantac and its generic versions off the shelves.

At this point, the truth about Zantac was circling the media and consumers began to contact attorneys. By October, Sanofi, the manufacturer of Zantac, had issued a voluntary recall, but the FDA had not yet asked consumers to stop taking ranitidine medications.

FDA Testing

In November, the FDA released their laboratory test results, revealing NDMA impurities in nearly every brand of ranitidine it tested. The daily limit for NDMA consumption is 0.096 micrograms or 0.32 parts per million (ppm), but some drugs tested higher.

Zantac’s over the counter (OTC) tablets, for instance, contained up to 0.36 micrograms of NDMA and up to 2.38 ppm, and some generic versions were even more contaminated. 

When these results were published, another wave of manufacturers issued voluntary recalls and the FDA dove deeper into its investigation. Throughout December, the FDA conducted more testing, but by April 1, 2020, they had come to a conclusion.

‘Withdraw All Prescription and OTC Ranitidine Drugs From the Market Immediately’

On April 1, 2020, the FDA asked Sanofi and all other ranitidine manufacturers to take their drugs off the market for good.

In its statement, the FDA emphasized the importance of drug safety and stated the following:

We decided [Zantac/ranitidine] should not be available to consumers and patience unless its quality can be assured.”

The FDA also encouraged consumers to safely dispose of any pills, tablets, or liquids in their possession and not buy more. The federal organization also recommended Pepcid, Tagamet, Nexium, Prevacid, or Prilosec as alternatives to Zantac.

According to the FDA, levels of NDMA in Zantac exceed acceptable levels when stored under certain conditions and can increase your risk for cancer.

Diagnoses Tied to Zantac

Dozens of Zantac cancer lawsuits have emerged in the past few months, with consumers claiming that exposure to NDMA in Zantac caused cancer in their digestive tract.

So far, our firm has seen complaints of esophageal cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the liver, bladder, and kidneys; and other diseases.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac regularly for 1 year or more or taking the drug weekly for at least 6 months, we urge you to contact Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC today.

Our legal team can investigate your claim and help you hold the negligent manufacturers of dangerous drugs accountable.

Call us at (918) 347-6456 or request a free consultation online to get started.

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