Can Taking Zantac Cause Many Different Types of Cancer?
There’s significant evidence indicating that the recalled drug Zantac, taken as both an over the counter and prescription medication, can cause cancer. Furthermore, many different types of cancers, referenced below, may develop as a result of taking this drug.
On April 1, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally requested that all Ranitidine products (Zantac) be immediately removed from the market. Patients taking Zantac as a prescription medication were advised to contact their doctors about discontinuing their usage and choosing an alternative drug.
Here’s a closer look at the common questions many patients who took Zantac are asking about this drug and their own health.
Is there a toxic or poisonous chemical present in Zantac?
Yes. Many researchers have been studying the chemical or “contaminant” present in Zantac — NMAD or Nitrosodimethylamine – for years. In its April 2020 recall notice, the FDA states that it has “determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products can increase over time and when stored in high temperatures…” The FDA also notes that while everyone ingests small amounts of ranitidine in their diet, “sustained higher levels of exposure [to NMDA] may increase the risk of cancer in humans.”
Are there any common symptoms patients might experience as a result of taking Zantac?
Yes. People harmed by this drug may develop a wide array of symptoms. While no one will probably develop all of them, it’s possible that any one patient might experience more than one.
Reduced function or impairment of the kidneys, lungs and liver
Pregnant women who may have taken Zantac – especially those who had a doctor’s prescription — should be sure to tell their lawyers about that fact. WebMD states in an article that there are laboratory findings indicating that the babies of pregnant mice given NDMA either died or suffered serious consequences.
What types of cancers can NMDA, in high concentrations, cause in humans?
Unfortunately, NMDA, the contaminant in Zantac, can cause various types of cancers (or tumors) to develop in human organs. Here are some of the cancers that some researchers tie to the presence of high levels of NMDA.
Was Zantac prescribed for any purpose other than heartburn?
Yes. Some patients were given Zantac to treat esophagitis and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. As most patients know, the esophagus leads from the mouth to the stomach. This long, thin organ can become inflamed, sometimes causing a sore throat, heartburn (due to stomach contents refluxing into it) and trouble swallowing. Over time, as esophagitis worsens, the esophagus can begin to narrow due to the inflammation – causing some people to suffer serious breathing difficulties.
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a very rare condition that can lead to tumors forming in a patient’s pancreas or small intestine (duodenum).
Can anyone file a lawsuit by documenting long-term use of Zantac?
Everyone who ingested large amounts of Zantac during recent years – and developed one of the cancers named above — certainly has the right to speak with one of our New York City product liability attorneys. However, as is true with all potential litigation, we will need to ask you some questions to help us determine the likely success of your case. For example, we would need to know if you – or the person who may have died of cancer – was a regular smoker during the 25 years prior to the cancer developing.
Potential clients who can document their daily dosage of Zantac — based on a doctor’s prescription — might find it easier to prevail. In each case, we also need to state a client’s basic daily dosage and how many years the drug was taken regularly.
In a new press release published on April 16, 2020, the FDA reminds everyone that the highest, permissible intake level of NMDA is 96 nanograms per day. (Although this newest press release references Zantac in its title, it more specifically addresses Amneal Pharmaceutical’s recall of nizatidine oral solution containing NMDA)
It’s our law firm’s job, as experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys, to help all potential clients determine whether their cases warrant taking part in what can sometimes become a lengthy battle to win the compensation we believe is owed to them.
What types of physical & emotional suffering and medical expenses can be compensated?
While the facts of each case are always somewhat different, we always seek to help our clients recover for all the following losses that may be applicable.
All past and future medical expenses tied to the injuries caused by taking Zantac
All physical and emotional suffering caused by your injuries – and all future suffering likely during all phases of treatment, rehabilitation and recovery
All wage losses. Also, any future loss of earning capacity
Loss of consortium — or enjoyment of life
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. This frequently occurs when the facts help prove that the defendants clearly knew – or should have known – of the extensive damage to human health that their product was likely to cause.
Do most of these cases go to trial — or is an early settlement likely?
Since these types of lawsuits are quite new, as indicated by how recently the FDA ordered that Zantac no longer be sold, it’s difficult to estimate how long each case might take. While our firm always attempts to settle all cases early with defendants, newer claims like this one may not lead to early settlements. We always advise our clients to be prepared to go to trial. Settlement efforts continue until many trials are set to start.
February 2022 Update
The Zantac MDL steering committee now only intends to pursue five types of cancer in MDL-2924:
The selection of the initial pool of Zantac plaintiffs, who will be candidates for the opening bellwether trials is underway. Lawyers for the plaintiffs recently filed a motion asking the MDL judge to protect the privacy right of these potential bellwether plaintiffs when they are required to produce their medical records in the discovery process. The motion asks the court to order the redaction of information relating to mental health, sexual abuse, and substance abuse from the medical records.
January 2022 Update
The Zantac class action lawsuit now involves eight types of cancer: bladder, colorectal/intestinal, esophageal, gastric, liver, lung, pancreatic, and prostate. The most notable exclusions from this are breast cancer and kidney cancer. These claims are no longer being litigated in federal Zantac lawsuit.
Our Zantac cancer lawyers are now handling only five types of cancer listed above (we saw where it was going, which is why we reduced to those five cancers before it was announced in the MDL).
How successful have these types of cases been in the past?
As indicated above, these types of cases are quite new. However, when clients can provide us with clear proof of how long they took Zantac – and can document their daily doses – their chances of success can increase. Medical records that fully support each claim are also very important. However, clients who purchased all their Zantac over the counter – who can also document regular purchases over a long time period, may also be able to recover. We’ll know more about the actual success rate of these types of cases within the next few years.
If you believe that you developed cancer due to taking Zantac over a long period of time, you should contact our New York City products liability law firm. We’ll carefully investigate the facts of your case and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available. We want to see every client fully compensated for all lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses.