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In all the health news of 2020, you may have missed the news about the ranitidine recall. Known widely by its over the counter “OTC” name, Zantac, this heartburn medication has been under the spotlight for containing a contaminant and harboring shelf-life issues that may be tied to causing cancer.
If you have heard the news, or if you have been informed by your pharmacist or doctor to discontinue Zantac use, you likely have questions and concerns. With regulatory authorities taking action to remove the medication from store shelves and lawsuits pending, where does that leave you? If you or a loved one has used Zantac, who is representing your interests, and what are your options?
What is the Zantac Recall About?
Zantac has faced scrutiny from the FDA and other medical patient interest groups due to concerns about the contaminant (NDMA) N-Nitrosodimethylamine. This impurity’s ability to increase, particularly when stored at warmer temperatures, is a major cause for concern because there is some evidence that it is carcinogenic. After several investigations, individual lawsuits, and mass tort lawsuits were initiated, the FDA officially issued a complete recall of all forms of the medication on April 1st of this year.
As pending cases approach the trial process, outcomes for victims of the drug’s dangerous complications remain to be seen. People who have been harmed by this medication deserve both physical and financial recovery. If you have suffered illness or had medical complications after a history of using Zantac medication, please call today for advice and options.
What to Do If You Are Taking Ranitidine
If you are taking OTC Zantac, the FDA recommends that you discontinue use, and speak with your pharmacist or your doctor about safe alternatives. Alternative medications to Zantac which do not contain the problematic ingredient NDMA include Pepcid (famotidine), Nexium (esomeprazole), or Prilosec (omeprazole).
If you are taking prescription ranitidine, speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medications. However, speaking to your doctor right away would be advisable, due to the nature of the recall issued for these medications. Your doctor will make a recommendation right for your health that mitigates the risk of exposure to NDMA or n-nitrosamine impurities.
The above recommendations stand for all types of ranitidine formulation and administration. All forms of the medication have been recalled. Ranitidine has been offered in tablets, capsules, syrup, or maybe injected.
To discard medications that you will no longer be taking, there are FDA recommendations for proper and safe disposal. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, some locations that typically accept unwanted or unused medications for disposal are not currently able to do so. If you do not have a drop off option available to you, please see the package insert of your medication for proper disposal instructions. Some instructions exist online depending on the type of ranitidine medication that you have.
Please note, due to the recall, ranitidine, and ranitidine-containing products are not on store shelves for continued or new OTC use and they are not available for existing or new prescriptions as of April 1st, 2020.
What Exactly is Zantac (Ranitidine)?
Zantac, an over the counter (“OTC”) heartburn drug, has been in common circulation for the last 40 years. Initially available by prescription only, for about the first half of that time, it eventually became available OTC in pharmacies and health supply sections of stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and more.
Ranitidine was formulated to treat acid reflux and heartburn. The formulation accomplishes this by reducing the amount of acid that the stomach produces, which is the source of these uncomfortable conditions. Since then, the drug has also been recommended and supplied to individuals struggling with other less common stomach conditions such as Zollinger Ellison Syndrome and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Ranitidine is part of a group of medications known as histamine-2 blockers. Manufacturer/Distributor companies for ranitidine include Sanofi US Services Inc., Blake v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Pfizer Inc. Each company is facing ongoing litigation at this time about Zantac, its formulation, creation, conveyance, or effects.
What’s Wrong With Ranitidine?
Zantac’s rise in popularity has meant that huge numbers of individuals have been made vulnerable to the drug’s related complications. These complications include a number of cancers, especially breast cancer and bladder cancer. Ranitidine is part of an entire class of drugs that are under investigation for carcinogenic properties per the FDA’s June 2020 updated information.
The makers of Zantac cannot claim surprise at concerns with the drug. In July 2018 the first round of actions was taken in the form of voluntary recalls, and the FDA began investigating NDMA levels the following summer. The initial action was taken due to Zantac containing the ingredient valsartan. Since the focus of concern has shifted to NDMA contents and the compound’s increase over the duration of the shelf life, several lawsuits have been filed. The first was in Florida in September 2019, followed soon after by a Colorado case in October 2019. Still, before the FDA recall in April of this year, cases were filed in New York and Illinois in January.
As these cases pend trial, the situation has become increasingly alarming to the huge consumer base that has utilized Zantac or other forms of ranitidine. The medication was first approved by the FDA in 1983 and by 1988 was the best-selling drug worldwide. It continued to increase in popularity since then, and even more since the early 2000’s when the drug was made available over the counter.
Thompson Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Case
When drug makers or manufacturers are irresponsible or negligent in their formulation or production of medications, that is not just a disservice to the individuals who rely on them, consumers deserve justice. Have you experienced complications, illness, disease, or even cancer after using Zantac or ranitidine medication? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.
Thompson Law’s experienced personal injury team is prepared to take your call anytime 24/7. We understand that life emergencies like medication defects, auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, and more can happen any time of day or night. Our goal is to be here for our clients whenever they need us. From your first call, you can expect our dedicated, expert legal professionals to answer your questions and get to work helping you.
If you need help locating medical providers, we can help connect you with excellent resources and get you on the path to financial recovery. For your health concerns or any worries you have about the health history of your loved ones after taking ranitidine, don’t hesitate to reach out for advice and options.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have. Do not disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice based on anything herein.
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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered after use of a pharmaceutical drug such as Zantac, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim. We will be happy to answer your call or web inquiry right away and can provide you with information, options, and advice – completely risk-free and at no cost to you.