Heartburn is incredibly prevalent, with more than 60 million Americans experiencing painful symptoms at least once a month. Whether it is caused by an unusual meal, pregnancy, or stress, heartburn can be incredibly uncomfortable, so most sufferers reach for medication to relieve it.
Zantac is a common heartburn medication that has recently been linked to several types of cancer. If you or a family member used Zantac, there are important facts that you need to know about your risks and the next steps you should take.
What Is Zantac?
Zantac is the name brand for the drug ranitidine. It is used to treat and prevent heartburn, stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It is a popular option because it works more quickly than proton pump inhibitors and lasts longer than traditional liquid or chewable antacids.
What is NDMA?
N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, is an organic chemical that is classified as a cancer-causing substance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is not intentionally produced in America but can be accidentally created as a by-product of various chemical reactions, either naturally or in the manufacturing process.
Exposure to very small amounts of NDMA can come from many common sources and is typically harmless. However, NDMA has recently been found in higher, potentially dangerous levels in certain medications, such as Zantac.
Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
The medication in Zantac can metabolize or break down into NDMA. When consumed, this NDMA increases the risk of developing cancer by modifying a person’s DNA and by causing inflammation which promotes tumor growth.
NDMA can develop during the normal storage of the medication: the older the medication is, usually the more NDMA that is found in the drug. In addition, it significantly increases when the pills are exposed to warmer temperatures. The FDA established a 96ng per day intake limit, but some tests have shown that as much as 2,500,000ng can be found in a 150MG dose of Zantac.
What Kind of Cancer Does Zantac Cause?
The EPA has classified NDMA as a probable human carcinogen, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) states that NDMA is “reasonably anticipated” to be a human carcinogen. Plus, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has labeled NDMA as probably carcinogenic to humans.
The types of cancer that can be caused by ingesting NDMA include:
- Bladder Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
What Are the Chances of Getting Cancer?
A study conducted by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center found that ranitidine use increased risk in the odds of developing certain cancers, according to a 2020 article by Richard H. Adamson and Bruce A. Chabner.
What Should You Do If You Take Zantac?
In 2020, the FDA issued a recall for all versions of ranitidine, but in 2021 Zantac was relaunched with a new name (Zantac 360) and a new active ingredient, famotidine. Famotidine does not have the same potential cancer risk as ranitidine.
If you have taken either version of Zantac, talking with your physician is a good first step. They may be able to discuss your personal risk factors and help you make a plan to explore different medications or lifestyle changes to control your heartburn. After you get guidance from your doctor, you may want to see if you are eligible to pursue a Zantac lawsuit by completing this confidential case evaluation form.
Who Can File a Zantac Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one developed cancer after taking Zantac (or any other medication containing ranitidine, you may be eligible and should consult with an attorney.
People filing these legal claims are seeking compensation from the drug's manufacturers for the numerous types of cancer that NDMA can cause to recover financial compensation for past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
How Do You Find a Zantac Lawsuit Attorney?
If you or a family member used Zantac and then developed Bladder Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, or Stomach Cancer, you may have a case. These illnesses can be scary and life-changing, but you don’t have to look for answers alone. Murphy & Prachthauser is your local firm that has been helping people for over 40 years, with offices in Downtown Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, Waukesha, Mequon, and West Bend.
Please contact us today to learn more about the details on a Zantac or ranitidine case. There are no out-of-pocket costs for you to discuss this with us. Complete a free online case evaluation or contact Murphy & Prachthauser directly to learn more about your options.