Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
Zantac and its generic active ingredient, ranitidine hcl, metabolizes into N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) a chemical that the FDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) all classify as a (cancer-causing) carcinogen.
Over the last 40 years, several studies have made the case that Zantac causes cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “NDMA is clearly carcinogenic. There is overwhelming evidence that NDMA is mutagenic and clastogenic.”
NDMA is a semi volatile organic chemical that belongs to a family of chemicals known as N-nitrosamines. According to the EPA, N-nitrosamines are “a family of potent carcinogens.”
The FDA established a 96 ng (nanograms) per day intake limit of NDMA (though even this intake limit may be too high). However, recent testing of Zantac using FDA-approved methods found more than 2,500,000 ng of NDMA in a Zantac 150 mg tablet, the dosage countless people take every day.
Online pharmacy company Valisure tests batches of drugs before they sell them to consumers. During its testing, Valisure found unprecedented levels of NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine tablets.
“Every manufacturer and every type of Zantac or ranitidine that we’ve analyzed seems to have the same problem of the drug itself being very unstable and degrading, or even potentially reacting to, the condition in the human stomach to create NDMA.” – David Light, Valisure CEO
Valisure alerted the FDA to the issue, and the FDA issued a statement saying the agency is investigating the Zantac NDMA link to cancer. While an investigation into this serious public health issue is a necessary step, our firm believes the FDA is downplaying the true danger of this cancer-causing chemical in Zantac by claiming the amount of NDMA found during testing is low.
Our Firm Believes FDA is Failing to Protect the Public from Dangerous Zantac Side Effects
In its statement, FDA noted that it “has learned that some ranitidine medicines, including some products commonly known as the brand-name drug Zantac, contain a nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels.”
The Zantac attorneys at the law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman believe the FDA’s statement falls well short of addressing a serious threat to public health. Further, we believe the FDA is confusing consumers by saying the presence of NDMA in Zantac is an “impurity.” This cancer-causing chemical is not an impurity, but a design defect that the makers of Zantac knew or should have known about before, during, and after the drug came to market.
Numerous regulators outside the U.S. have cautioned patients against taking Zantac, noting the availability of safer alternatives. The FDA, on the other hand, continues to confuse the American public by telling consumers that they do not need to stop taking Zantac or Zantac OTC generics.
In response to the September 2019 FDA announcement, retailers like CVS and Walgreens pulled Zantac and Zantac over-the-counter generics from their shelves, citing the link between Zantac NDMA and cancer. In statements, both pharmacy companies noted that consumers who purchased the drugs could get Zantac refunds. Generic drug makers like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sandoz and Apotex have also recalled its ranitidine hydrochloride products.
At least 22 countries have either banned, halted shipping of, or recalled ranitidine hcl. Four other countries have issued warnings and/or launched their own investigations, according to the news media.
In 2018, several companies issued recalls for blood pressure medications that contained levels of NDMA that exceeded FDA limits. However, the levels of NDMA found in these products paled in comparison to that of Zantac. Nevertheless, Sanofi and other major generic Zantac manufacturers are unwilling to issue a Zantac recall.
Australia Finds High Levels of NDMA in 75% of Zantac Tested
Australia, one of the many countries to issue a ranitidine recall, conducted testing on Zantac tablets weeks after Valisure submitted its Citizen’s Petition to the FDA. According to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (the country’s drug regulatory agency), 75% of the Zantac tested were found to have high levels of NDMA.
The country decided to take a “precautionary approach” and issue a Zantac recall.
Zantac Side Effects
The link between Zantac and cancer goes back decades. Below are some of the cancers associated with Zantac:
- Bladder cancer
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer (non-smokers)
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
Other ranitidine Zantac side effects include headaches, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting.
Common Zantac Brands | Products That Contain Ranitidine
Below are some of the most common Zantac brands and generic ranitidine brand names:
- Zantac 150 Tablets
- Zantac 150 Maximum Strength
- Zantac 150 Maximum Strength Cool Mint
- Zantac 75 Tablets
- Wal-Zan 150
- Wal-Zan 75
- Heartburn Relief (ranitidine)
- Acid Reducer (ranitidine)
- Acid Control (ranitidine)
What is NDMA?
NDMA is a molecule that was discovered long ago in the process of developing rocket fuel. It is a chemical that is a combination of DMA and Nitrogen (N). Together, N + DMA forms NDMA, a highly carcinogenic compound. NDMA has not been studied in humans because it is an extremely potent carcinogen. However, in every animal study looking at this issue, animals exposed to NDMA developed cancer.
Zantac NDMA Cancer Risk
The interesting thing about NDMA and Zantac is that, contrary to the FDA’s assertion that NDMA is an impurity, NDMA is not added to Zantac; it is a byproduct of the chemical processes that happen when a person ingests Zantac.
When Zantac interacts with stomach acid and heat in that environment, the molecule transforms into NDMA. That is why people who take Zantac are shown to have more than 400 times the legal allowable limit of NDMA in the urine. Put simply, NDMA is created during the process of digesting Zantac, which is why the Zantac cancer risk had not been discovered until recently.
“We have an epidemic of cancer in our society. For years we have been trying to figure out what’s behind it. Our firm has done a lot of work exposing the causes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in our Monsanto Roundup litigation. Now we have another source of cancer – it appears that for decades, Zantac has been causing cancer, and we’re only now just seeing it. People from all across the country have cancer today because they took Zantac. That is a wrong that we will fight to make right.” – R. Brent Wisner
Zantac Class Action Lawsuit
- People who purchased Zantac who do not have a cancer claim may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit to hold Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim accountable for making allegedly false and/or misleading statements about Zantac.
- The makers of Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride) marketed their antacid medication as being safe for use to treat acid reflux, heart burn, and various other gastrointestinal issues.
Zantac has been found to have a carcinogenic chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at levels up to 3,000 times the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) daily intake limit.
- In a letter to the FDA, Valisure—an online pharmacy company that tests drugs in its accredited laboratory before selling them—notes that Zantac is heavily prescribed to adults and infants “due to a very high perception of safety.”
What is the Difference Between a Zantac Class Action Lawsuit and a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit?
A Zantac class action lawsuit allows consumers who bought Zantac (ranitidine hcl) to recover the money they spent making that purchase, based on allegations that the manufacturer failed to warn about the risk of NDMA cancer. The makers of Zantac made money by concealing the risks of dangerous Zantac side effects and should be held accountable for misleading consumers about the risk of such side effects.
These class action lawsuits can be filed on behalf of anyone who purchased Zantac and has not developed cancer, but wants to hold the makers accountable for profiting from misleading information.
Zantac personal injury or Zantac wrongful death lawsuits are filed by individuals (or their family members) who developed cancer after taking Zantac. Filing an individual personal injury lawsuit allows people who developed cancer to obtain the maximum possible compensation for their injuries. The law on damages varies from state to state, but there are different kinds of damages that the law allows you to receive, such as those for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of past and future earnings, temporary or permanent disability, and any other compensable damages.
Who Can Join the Zantac Class Action Lawsuit?
Anyone who purchased Zantac and can prove they did so may be eligible to participate in a Zantac class action claim. Unlike individual lawsuits against Zantac’s makers, in a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs do not have to prove that they were harmed, only that that they purchased the drug and were not warned about the Zantac cancer risk.
Such plaintiffs argue that they suffered economic losses because they purchased the drug believing it was safe and would not have made that purchase had they known about the risk of life-threatening Zantac adverse effects.
You Need a Zantac Attorney with a Proven Track Record of Success
Determining liability and proving your case in court can be difficult. To give you and your family the best chance for success, you need a law firm with a winning tradition against major corporations to handle your Zantac lawsuit.
Our trial lawyers know how to win big cases against big companies. If you developed cancer after taking Zantac, call 800-827-0087 today for a free, no-obligation Zantac lawsuit evaluation.
Please complete the contact form below:
* Designates a required field
Please allow a few moments. You will be notified when your information has been received.