On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that preliminary tests found levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in Zantac (ranitidine), a common heartburn medication prescribed to millions of Americans. Shortly thereafter, drug manufacturers of Zantac began to recall their generic ranitidine products sold in the U.S. Major drugstores, including Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid, began taking Zantac and generic versions of the drug off their shelves due to the recall. The Zantac recall included Zantac 150, Zantac 150 Cool Mint, and Zantac 75, plus various generics.
Zantac® is a type of medication with histamine-2 blockers that help decrease the amount of acid created by the stomach. NDMA is a toxic substance and a known carcinogen. For example, it was used previously as an ingredient in rocket fuel. More relevantly, NDMA has been used by scientists in labs to induce cancer in rats for various research projects. Recent scientific studies have linked Zantac (ranitidine) to numerous types of cancer, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Colon cancer
- Kidney cancer
In 2016, physicians wrote more than 15 million prescriptions for Zantac. Many additional patients have purchased it over the counter in a non-prescription form. Lawsuits are being filed involving the side effects and range of serious illnesses from taking Zantac that contained NDMA. On February 6th, the federal Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) released an order that will send over 140 lawsuits involving injuries caused by the heartburn medication Zantac to the Southern District of Florida. The judge assigned to preside over the consolidated cases is The Honorable Robin L. Rosenberg. The lawsuits allege that the defendants and manufacturers of Zantac (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Pfizer Inc.; Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC; Sanofi US Services Inc.; and Chattem, Inc.) were aware that the active ingredient in the medication, ranitidine, exposed plaintiffs to NDMA. Research by an independent company showed that ranitidine molecules are inherently unstable and affect all drugs containing ranitidine, including both the name brand and generics, since they can drastically increase the level of NDMA in the body.
The recalled drugs and defective products attorneys at Suthers & Harper are currently investigating potential cases involving stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, and colon cancer related to Zantac use. Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating cases involving recalled and defective drugs for patients who suffered serious, adverse effects and illnesses caused by such medications.
If you or a loved one have suffered from stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, or colon cancer after taking Zantac or its generic equivalents, contact the recalled drugs and defective products attorneys at Suthers & Harper, or call 1-800-320-2384 toll free for a free consultation.