You may have heard the recent news about the recalls and problems associated with Zantac, also known by its chemical name ranitidine. Perhaps your pharmacist or doctor has even warned you about the medication. The fact is, this drug has been under the spotlight about some concerning contents and side effects for a couple of years now. Finally, regulatory authorities have taken action to remove the medication from store shelves.
Zantac has faced scrutiny from the FDA and other medical patient interest groups due to concerns about cancer-causing active ingredients and unstable shelf life of the product. Following multiple individual and mass tort lawsuits and related investigations, the FDA officially issued a complete recall of all forms of the medication on April 1st of this year.
As the pending cases and inevitable future cases wait for their day in court, it remains to be seen how victims of the drug’s dangerous complications will fare – both in health and in recompense for their devastating experiences with the drug. If you have suffered illness or may have medical complications after a history of using Zantac medication, call Thompson Law today. 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.
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What is Zantac (ranitidine)?
Zantac is an over the counter (“OTC”) heartburn drug that has been widely available since the early 1980’s. It was available by prescription only for about the first 20 years since its development, and eventually became available OTC in pharmacies and health supply sections of stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target and more.
The drug was formulated to treat acid reflux and heartburn by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach, which causes these uncomfortable symptoms. Apart from this most common use and advertised application, the drug was also recommended and supplied to individuals struggling with other stomach conditions such as Zollinger Ellison Syndrome and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Often referred to and sold under its chemical name, Ranitidine, Zantac is a category of medication known as a histamine-2 blocker. It is produced and conveyed to consumers via a few companies such as Sanofi US Services Inc., Blake v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Pfizer Inc. All of these companies are facing ongoing litigation about their role and responsibility in producing or conferring Zantac to consumers who ended up fighting cancers such as breast cancer or bladder cancer.
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What is the Problem with Zantac?
Since the April 1st statement issued by the FDA, ranitidine products were removed from the market immediately in all forms, including pills and liquid. The substance within the drug that is under scrutiny for its purported carcinogenic consequences is called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Digestion of this substance in large quantities has the potential to cause cancer in humans. The daily consumption limit of the substance is 92 nanograms according to FDA guidelines, as the substance is found in certain foods, such as cured meats.
Zantac’s rise in popularity has meant that huge numbers of individuals may be made vulnerable to the drug’s related complications. 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 in the early 2000’s the drug was made available over the counter.
Alternative medications to Zantac which do not include the ingredient NDMA include Pepcid (famotidine), Nexium (esomeprazole), or Prilosec (omeprazole). Be sure to talk to your doctor before changing any medications or starting a new regimen.
Not the First Time Zantac Has Had Issues
The makers of Zantac are not newly aware of 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 this drug. Due to deficiencies in the study of the contents and stability of the medication, users may be facing an increased likelihood of developing cancer.
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Thompson Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Case
Have you developed cancer or suffered illness or disease after use of Zantac or ranitidine medication? The experienced personal injury team at Thompson Law is standing ready to take your call and help to get you on the path to your deserved personal injury 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.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe us one penny unless we win your case for you. You deserve to be protected and you deserve justice after suffering a dangerous and debilitating cancer or illness caused by using a medication that you were told was safe.
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Official Statement From the FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested a manufacturer’s market withdrawal of ranitidine, known commonly by the brand name Zantac. This means ranitidine products will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or over-the-counter (OTC) use in the U.S.
FDA has found N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels in some ranitidine products increase with time and temperature posing a risk to consumers, and therefore the agency has requested the withdrawal of all ranitidine products from the U.S. market.
Consumers should stop taking any OTC ranitidine they may currently have. Patients taking prescription ranitidine should speak with their health care professional about other treatment options before stopping the medicine. Multiple drugs are approved for the same or similar uses as ranitidine.
Consumers should dispose of any ranitidine products properly, and not buy more of it including compounded ranitidine.
To date, FDA’s testing has not found NDMA in products used for similar treatment like famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec).
To dispose of unsafe medications: Visit the FDA’s recommendation page here.
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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.