On March 20, 2020, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall for Zantac. Zantac was recalled for containing a cancer-causing compound.
The Zantac recall was issued to manufacturers of any prescription and over-the-counter medications that contain ranitidine drugs, asking them to remove these products from the market immediately.
What is Zantac or ranitidine?
Zantac is a common medication that is used to treat gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, and problems with the stomach, throat (esophagus), and intestines. It is used to relieve symptoms of heartburn, stomach pain, and trouble swallowing.
The medication works by decreasing the amount of stomach acid produced by the body.
There were approximately 16,369,542 prescriptions issued for Zantac in the United States in 2017. It is also commonly sold as an over-the-counter medication, often in tablet and liquid forms.
Why is Zantac Being Recalled?
The FDA stated that a common contaminant in Zantac is a probable cause of cancer in humans. The specific contaminant is known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine, but is commonly referred to as NDMA. NDMA is an organic compound that is found in materials used in everything form curing meats to making rocket fuel.
While minimal levels of NDMA may be present in certain types of food and water, the FDA stated that in Zantac the concentrations of this impurity increase with age and when the product is stored at higher temperatures. There is potentially a higher risk of cancer for people with sustained higher exposure to NDMA.
The recommended daily intake of NDMA is only 96 ng. Testing by Valisure, an online pharmacy, measured up to 3,000,000 ng of NDMA in a single tablet of ranitidine products. Valisure has since September 2019 issued the FDA to recall ranitidine products. Valisure has asserted that the levels of NDMA in ranitidine medications, like Zantac, are much too high and present a direct threat to people's health.
Initially, the FDA warned consumers about taking Zantac and other products containing ranitidine after the petition by Valisure. Since that time, additional research has confirmed the presence of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine medications. Not only that, the research confirmed that the level of NDMA increased in medications that were stored at higher temperatures and increased over time. The FDA then issued the Zantac recall in March 2020.
Simply stated, Zantac contains a cancer-causing contaminant. The contaminant will increase in concentration as the medication ages and if it is stored at higher temperatures. People who take it may increase their risk of developing cancer.
What To Do If You Take Zantac
Under this recall, the FDA has directed people taking Zantac to immediately stop taking over-the-counter ranitidine medications. This includes OTC tablets or liquid medications. The FDA further directed people to not buy more of these products.
If a person relies on Zantac or ranitidine medications, the FDA is urging people to call their physicians to see what other options may be available. The FDA recommend discussing other medications that do not contain ranitidine. Some medications that offer similar relief or treament that do not contain NDMA are:
- Pepcid (famotidine)
- Tagemet (cimetidine)
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
According to the FDA, these products have been tested and do not contain NDMA.
If you have Zantac or other ranitidine medications, the FDA Zantac recall has directed that people safely dispose of them. If you do so, it can be a wise precaution to take photos of the containers, bar codes, and medication to preserve evidence that you had it in your possession prior to disposing of it. This includes keeping receipts, prescriptions, or other documentation that can confirm your use of the product over time. If you have any questions about preserving evidence, contact an attorney immediately.
If you or a family member has been taking Zantac or another medication containing ranitidine, you should contact your physician to discuss treatment options and any questions that you may have.
What Types of Cancer Can Be Caused by Zantac?
NDMA may cause certain types of cancer. You may have a potential claim for damages if you have taken Zantac or ranitidine medications and have developed:
- Bladder Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Intestinal or colorectal cancer
Report Adverse Reactions to the FDA
Healthcare professionals and patients can report reactions to drugs or quality problems directly to the FDA. The FDA has online reports that can be submited through its website. These forms may be found at the agency's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.
The form may be found and completed online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.
The form can also be downloaded and then completed and faxed to 1-800-FDA-0178.
Can I Sue If Have Taken Zantac?
If you have developed cancer and have been taking Zantac, you may have a potential claim against the drug manufacturer or others. Contact a Zantac recall lawyer at our firm today. The initial consultation is completely free.
How a Philadelphia Zantac Lawyer Can Help
A Philadelphia Zantac lawyer can assist in evaluating your potential claims. An experienced personal injury firm will examine the evidence in your case and provide legal counsel and guidance on the potential case.
Our team of personal injury attorneys will evaluate your potential claims. Our lawyers have nearly two decades of experience in handling complex and catastrophic cases on behalf of our clients. We fight to obtain full compensation for our clients and for those injured by the actions of others.