Zantac – the trade name for the heartburn medication ranitidine – has been marketed in the United States by drug manufacturer Sanofi since 2017. Prior to their involvement, Zantac was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1984. This over-the-counter heartburn reliever comes in 75- and 150-mg versions. While Zantac has long been one of the most commonly used heartburn relief medications in the U.S., recent revelations have brought serious health risks to light.
In 2019, consumers brought a class action lawsuit against the maker of Zantac. According to the lawsuit, Zantac includes high levels of a carcinogen that could lead to fatal health consequences. The suit claims that Sanofi not only included a dangerous compound in the drug but also that it covered up its existence.
Connection Between Zantac and Cancer?
The active ingredient in Zantac – Ranitidine – metabolizes into a substance known as NDMA when ingested. The Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 96ng of NDMA consumption per day to avoid health complications. However, the class action lawsuit alleges a 150mg tablet of Zantac contains more 2.5 million ng of NDMA. This works out to over 26,000 times the daily limit in a single pill.
NDMA is considered a carcinogen with links to cancer. Because of Sanofi’s alleged deception, millions of Americans have ingested a high dose of carcinogenic material. In many cases, the use of this drug has occurred over the course of years.
If you believe you have been harmed by Zantac, it is critical that you contact a defective drug attorney right away. At Showard Law Firm, we have built a reputation on taking on the big pharmaceutical companies and holding them accountable for their defective products. To learn more about recovering compensation for your injuries, contact a Zantac lawyer with our firm right away.
Zantac Side Effects
Like with many over-the-counter medications, there are a variety of side effects that could affect users of Zantac. Some of these common side effects include fatigue, headache, drowsiness, and constipation. Users are advised to stop using the drug if they experience changes in their heart rate, dark urine, chest pain, or skin problems. However, the recent discovery of the carcinogen NDMA is potentially more dangerous than any of the traditional side effects.
The links between Zantac and cancer are a relatively new discovery. The potential for cancer is related to the presence of NDMA in the heartburn medication. High doses of the carcinogen are linked to a variety of forms of cancer.
To date, the FDA has not moved to recall Zantac. While the regulator has discovered NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine medicines, their testing is ongoing. According to the FDA’s press release, they do not yet have evidence that causes them to recommend consumers stop taking the drug. In fact, they have recommended patients speak to their doctors directly before stopping Zantac. The FDA has also announced that its initial investigation into competitor heartburn medications like Pepcid, Tagamet, and Nexium shows no presence of NDMA.
While the government has not yet taken recall action on Zantac, the same cannot be said for some manufacturers. Initially, Sanofi refused to recall its product. However, a number of manufacturers of the generic version of Zantac have recalled their products from store shelves. On October 18, 2019, Sanofi joined other major manufacturers by recalling the drug in the United States as well as Canada. According to the Providence Journal, certain retailers like CVS have voluntarily pulled Zantac from their shelves.
Who is Sanofi?
While Sanofi did not develop Zantac, they are the current owner of the rights to the drug. Sanofi is a French pharmaceutical company based in Paris. Founded in 2004, it is now the fifth-largest pharmaceutical company according to prescription sales. Sanofi acquired Zantac in a product exchange with the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, which has also been named in the lawsuits.
Notable Zantac Settlements and Verdicts
To date, there are no settlements or verdicts relating to the NDMA content in Zantac. As the first class actions were only filed in September of 2019, it could be some time before these claims are resolved. Additionally, the research related to the link between cancer and Zantac is incomplete. In time, the scope of these claims could widen significantly. Should research show a link between cancer and Zantac, the number of these cases could grow substantially.
Reach Out to Zantac Lawyers at Showard Law Firm
There is ongoing research to determine if a link exists between over-the-counter Zantac and cancer. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer following the use of Zantac, it is important to ensure your legal rights are protected.
If you are ready to learn more about your legal rights, contact the experienced Zantac lawyers at Showard Law Firm right away. The initial consultation with our firm is always free, and we look forward to discussing your situation in detail.