Friday, July 31, 2020

Consumer Alert: Zantac Linked to Various Cancers

If you’ve taken ranitidine, better known by its brand name Zantac, you should be aware of the following:

●    Zantac and its generic alternatives have been linked to various cancers
●    The drug was recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
●    If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking ranitidine, you may be eligible for compensation

Here’s how it all unfolded – and what you can do.

Online Pharmacy Detects Unsafe Levels of NDMA in Zantac

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is an organic chemical classified as a probable human carcinogen by the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The substance is a “known environmental contaminant” that can be “found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables,” according an FDA statement.

In June 2019, online pharmacy Valisure detected unsafe levels of the chemical in Zantac and its generic alternatives. They then notified the FDA of their findings.

Valisure Files a Petition to Recall Zantac
Three months later, Valisure filed a petition with the FDA requesting that all ranitidine products be recalled. The company’s research found that NDMA was the result of the “inherent instability of the ranitidine molecule,” meaning that all medications containing ranitidine could potentially unleash high levels of NDMA in the body. They noted that ranitidine has a “high perception of safety” and is heavily prescribed to adults and infants.

In the months that followed, numerous manufacturers voluntarily recalled Zantac from pharmacy shelves.

FDA Recalls Zantac

On April 1, 2020, the FDA ordered the recall of all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine medications. The decision was influenced by a growing body of evidence that the drug was contaminated with unacceptable levels of NDMA.

The FDA noted that low levels of NDMA are commonly ingested by humans, for example in food and water, and “would not be expected to increase the risk for cancer.” However, they said, “higher levels of exposure may increase the risk.”

After conducting thorough laboratory tests, they found that the impurity in some ranitidine medications increased over time. When stored above room temperature, NDMA levels increased significantly, posing a serious risk to consumers.

Litigation Begins
If you’ve used Zantac or a generic alternative to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, or another medical condition, stop taking it immediately and dispose of your remaining supply. Your doctor can offer alternative treatment options to address your symptoms. The FDA recommends Pepcid, Nexium, and Prilosec, among others.

Next, assess your legal options. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Manufacturers have an obligation to ensure medications that reach the public are safe. An attorney can help you determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.

To learn more about Zantac lawsuits, click here.

This is a blog post by Mary Smith.

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