Zantac Lawsuits in North Carolina
Zantac was a widely used medicine to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and stomach ulcers. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called upon manufacturers of all prescription and over-the-counter versions of Zantac and the generic version containing the active ingredient ranitidine to be withdrawn from the American marketplace.
The FDA said in April 2020 that a contaminant that forms in Zantac known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) may cause cancer. Levels of NDMA increase over time and when the drug is stored at higher temperatures, the FDA said. This may lead to Zantac users being exposed to unacceptable levels of the cancer-causing compound.
The dangerous drug attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., are investigating cases of cancer among Zantac users in North Carolina. More than 140 Zantac cancer lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries caused by Zantac (ranitidine) are pending as part of multidistrict litigation (MDL number 2924) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuit contends the manufacturer of Zantac knew or should have known of the risks it posed and failed to warn consumers. Many more lawsuits are expected to be filed.
If you or a loved one of yours has developed cancer after long-term use of Zantac or generic ranitidine products, please contact our firm today for a free review of your case and discussion of your legal options for seeking compensation for your losses.
Zantac Recall Timeline
September 13, 2019
The FDA says it became aware of independent laboratory testing in 2019 that found NDMA in ranitidine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls NDMA a “probable human carcinogen.”
“Low levels of NDMA are commonly ingested in the diet; for example, NDMA is present in foods and in water. These low levels would not be expected to lead to an increase in the risk of cancer. However, sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans,” the FDA says.
November 01, 2019
The FDA warned the public of the potential cancer risks of some medicines sold under the brand name Zantac. The FDA advised users to consider alternative over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments.
In October 2019, the drug manufacturer Sanofi announced a voluntary recall of all Zantac over-the-counter products including Zantac 150®, Zantac 150® Cool Mint, and Zantac 75®.
Non-branded generic versions include “Acid Reducer (ranitidine),” “Heartburn Relief (ranitidine),” and “Acid Control (ranitidine).”
April 01, 2020
After additional testing, the FDA announced in April 2020 that it was sending letters to manufacturers of all Zantac and generic ranitidine products, requesting that the products be withdrawn from the market. In its April 2020 recall announcement, the FDA said:
New FDA testing and evaluation prompted by information from third-party laboratories confirmed that NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions, and NDMA has been found to increase significantly in samples stored at higher temperatures, including temperatures the product may be exposed to during distribution and handling by consumers. The testing also showed that the older a ranitidine product is, or the longer the length of time since it was manufactured, the greater the level of NDMA. These conditions may raise the level of NDMA in the ranitidine product above the acceptable daily intake limit.
The FDA advises consumers to stop taking Zantac and generic ranitidine medications, including any unused portions they have at home. Ranitidine products will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or OTC use in the U.S.
June 30, 2020
Sanofi, the maker of Zantac, says on its website as of June 30, 2020, that it is participating in the recall. However, the manufacturer maintained that longstanding research supported the safety of Zantac, which has been available over the counter for over two decades.
What is NDMA?
The National Library of Medicine says N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, is an unintentional byproduct of chemical reactions among chemicals called “alkylamines” that is formed during various manufacturing processes. It also may be formed by cooking foods that contain sodium nitrite as a preservative, especially cured meats and fish, and may be formed in the human body.
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) says NDMA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” according to the National Library of Medicine. The International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies NDMA as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Sanofi says on its Zantac website, “NDMA has been classified as a probable human carcinogen.”
What Type of Cancer Does Zantac Cause?
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the few studies conducted to determine the effects of NDMA in humans support the assumption that NDMA consumption is positively associated with either gastric (stomach) or colorectal cancer. Tests in rats have indicated that it causes liver cancer.
Because Zantac is taken orally, it is expected that the deteriorated NDMA in ranitidine could cause cancer in the digestive tract and filtering organs such as the liver or kidneys.
As such, the primary concern is that the regular use of Zantac or ranitidine medications may lead to:
- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Small intestine / duodenal cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Renal (kidney) cancer.
It is also suspected that long-term absorption of NDMA into the body through use of Zantac could lead to:
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Leukemia (acute lymphoblastic)
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
What Are the Most Common Ranitidine Side Effects?
Zantac (ranitidine) has numerous less-serious side effects.
At least two sources, Drugs.com and Drugwatch, say using Zantac (ranitidine) may increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, include chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, and coughing up mucus.
WebMD says “infrequent” side effects of ranitidine, which if experienced tend to have “a less severe expression,” include:
- Skin rash
- Stomach cramps
Your Cancer Claim Lawsuit Against Zantac and Sanofi
Pharmaceutical companies have a legal duty to ensure the medications they produce and sell are effective and safe when used as directed. They also have a legal duty to adequately advise consumers of any known side effects of taking the medication that may present a significant health risk. However, it is often the case that numerous patients are injured or die before a defective drug’s most harmful side effects are widely recognized.
Under the law, a drug maker, distributor and/or seller may be held liable for the harm a defective drug causes if the manufacturer knew or should have known the medication was dangerous and failed to adequately warn consumers of the danger.
A patient who has taken Zantac on a daily basis as dosage instructions prescribe and who has been diagnosed with cancer may be entitled to seek restitution for medical expenses connected to cancer treatment, as well as for their pain and suffering and other financial and personal losses.
The court order creating the multi-district litigation in the Southern District of Florida states of the Zantac lawsuits it combines that:
These actions share factual questions arising from allegations that ranitidine, the active molecule in Zantac and similar heartburn medications, can form the carcinogen NDMA, either during storage or when metabolized in the human body. Plaintiffs uniformly allege that the manufacturers, sellers, and distributors of Zantac and other ranitidine medications knew or should have known that these medications exposed consumers to NDMA, and that defendants concealed the NDMA-associated dangers posed to consumers by these products.
As your attorneys, Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks would obtain and analyze your medical records and calculate your costs and losses due to your cancer diagnosis. We would gather information about how long you’d been taking Zantac and about its links to NDMA and cancer.
Your case might be included as part of multi-district litigation. An MDL proceeding allows the federal court to handle the pre-trial phases of litigation such as discovery for multiple plaintiffs with similar claims at the same time. That typically leads to faster results and lower costs.
Large multi-party cases are often settled for a lump sum with detailed instructions for the division of payments among the plaintiffs.
A Zantac cancer lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik and Banks would be prepared to present a persuasive case to a jury on your behalf, if necessary.
Dangerous Drug Attorneys in Raleigh, North Carolina
If you have taken Zantac (ranitidine) for an extended period of time for heartburn, GERD or other gastric issues and developed cancer, you are not alone. The North Carolina Zantac cancer lawsuit attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., are here to help. We are experienced in taking on large pharmaceutical companies like Sanofi and are dedicated to helping clients like you recover compensation for the unjust harm you have suffered.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation about your case and the legal options available to you.