Leading Zantac Cancer Lawyers Over $4 Billion in Verdicts & Settlements

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  • Advocating Tirelessly to Protect Consumers Against Dangerous Drugs
  • $2.055 Billion Verdict, the Second-Largest Personal Injury Verdict in the Nation in 2019, and the Ninth-Largest Personal Injury Verdict in American History

Zantac Cancer Lawsuits

FDA Links Ranitidine to NDMA and Cancer

You may have already heard in the news that Zantac (ranitidine) has been linked to cancer, and that recent lawsuits against Zantac manufacturers allege the drug contains a cancer-causing chemical called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). At Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, our award-winning attorneys are representing people from across the country in personal injury and wrongful death Zantac lawsuits. We intend to hold the drug makers accountable for allegedly concealing the Zantac cancer link and putting profit before people.

IMPORTANT ZANTAC UPDATE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on April 1, 2020 that it is requesting manufacturers to withdraw all Zantac and generic Zantac OTC ranitidine drugs from the market effective immediately. The FDA determined that N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in some ranitidine medications “increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels…” The FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all classify NDMA as a cancer-causing substance.

Contact Baum Hedlund at (855) 948-5098 or contact us online to speak with a Zantac attorney and see if you may be eligible for compensation.

What Is Zantac?

Chemically known as ranitidine hydrochloride, Zantac belongs to a class of drugs called histamine H2-receptor antagonists (or H2 blockers), which decrease the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Zantac is a very popular antacid medication that has been on the market since the early 1980s, available both over the counter and by prescription. People commonly use Zantac for acid reflux, heartburn, and a host of other stomach, throat, and gastrointestinal issues. Others use Zantac for allergies to supplement their treatment regimen.

Zantac dosage varies between 75 and 150 mg tablets, though some patients take a once daily Zantac 300 mg dosage.

Since the 1980s, numerous studies have demonstrated a link between the NDMA in Zantac and cancer. Mounting evidence also allegedly shows that Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, the big pharma companies that make Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride), concealed the Zantac cancer link from millions of people who took the drug for heartburn, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sour stomach, Barrett’s esophagus, acid reflux, and other issues. This deception came as the companies made unprecedented profits from Zantac, the first drug to generate $1 billion in sales.

Zantac Lawsuit Updates

  • June 14, 2021 - Baum Hedlund Named to Plaintiffs’ Leadership in Zantac JCCP – Plaintiffs can now pursue Zantac cancer claims in California state court as part of a newly established Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP). The Ranitidine Product Cases JCCP 5150 is the largest state court proceeding in the country for Zantac lawsuits. Zantac attorney R. Brent Wisner was appointed to the JCCP leadership as one of two Plaintiffs’ Liaisons.
  • June 8, 2020 - 40 Zantac Cancer Lawsuits Filed in California – This was our largest group of cases filed to date in California state court related to both generic ranitidine and brand name Zantac products. We filed lawsuits on behalf of 40 people with Zantac-induced cancer, including bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers.
  • Oct 21, 2019 - Zantac Lawsuits Seek Punitive Damages Against Drug Makers – We filed our first Zantac cases in 2019 against multiple Zantac manufacturers, including Boehringer, Sanofi, Chattem, Pfizer and GSK alleging that they knew about the NDMA defect but failed to warn consumers about its link to cancer. The lawsuits also allege the companies defectively designed Zantac and deliberately refused to test Zantac products because they knew it put people’s health in serious danger.

To stay up to date on the latest updates in the Zantac MDL and the California Zantac JCCP, please visit the Zantac Trial Schedule page.

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Billions Won for Our Clients

  • Paxil Pediatric Class Action $63 Million
  • Third-Party Payer Class Action $40 Million
  • Defective Drug Class Action $28 Million
  • Celexa-Lexapro Pediatric Class Action $10 Million
  • Drug Injury $9 Million
  • Pharmaceutical Settlement $105 Million

Zantac Side Effects

The link between Zantac and cancer goes back decades. Our firm represents people from across the country with the following Zantac side effects:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer (for non-smokers)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach cancer

“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

Common Zantac Brands

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)

Zantac NDMA Cancer Risks

Central to the Zantac cancer risk issue is the known carcinogen NDMA. N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a water-soluble organic (containing the element carbon) chemical and appears as a yellow liquid with little or no obvious taste or odor. NDMA was once used to make rocket fuel, but today is made only for research purposes. It can also be produced as a byproduct of manufacturing processes. Humans can be exposed to NDMA in relatively small amounts through various products, including tobacco, foods (cured meat, fish, cheese, beer), shampoos, cleansers, and pesticides.

NDMA is carcinogenic even in minimal doses. The FDA’s acceptable daily intake of NDMA is 96 nanograms (ng), or 96 billionths of a gram.

Researchers have reported NDMA levels in food ranging from 14 ng per 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) in whole milk to 10,900 ng per 100 grams in sausage. Studies show that NDMA exposure as little as 179 ng per 100 grams per day is associated with elevated cancer risks.

The International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), the most recognized cancer research institution in the world, studied over 200 research papers on NDMA and the NDMA cancer risk. IARC placed the chemical in the “Group 2A” category, meaning substances that are “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The agency found that NDMA is “carcinogenic in all animal species tested” and noted that the metabolism of NDMA by humans and animals is similar.

NDMA caused malignant tumor growth in several organs, in multiple species, via numerous routes of exposure (oral, inhalation, subcutaneous (under the skin), injections), with dose-response relationships appearing in several studies. Scientists are also gaining detailed knowledge of the body's biochemical mechanisms to repair NDMA DNA damage and how those mechanisms play a role in the progression towards cancer.

NDMA in Zantac

In 2019, Valisure, an online pharmacy, and Emery Pharma, a contract laboratory, found unacceptably high levels of NDMA in ranitidine during batch testing. Both companies sounded the alarm on NDMA in Zantac, reporting that one ranitidine 150 mg tablet produced 304,500 ng of NDMA, which is roughly 1,700 times the exposure level found to be carcinogenic in some studies. Valisure and Emery Pharma filed citizen’s petitions with the FDA, urging the agency to suspend sales and issue a Zantac recall.

After receiving the petitions, the FDA announced that it was investigating the Zantac NDMA risks. Countless people who now have cancer after taking Zantac are turning to the courts and filing a Zantac lawsuit to hold the various manufacturers accountable, such as Sanofi Boehringer Ingelheim, Chattem, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for their reckless disregard for human health and willingness to put profit over people.

Zantac Recall Update

On April 1, 2020, the FDA issued a Zantac recall announcement, calling for the immediate market withdrawal request of all Zantac (ranitidine) products. The FDA reported that NDMA in “some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels…”

Before the FDA Zantac recall announcement, numerous manufacturers issued generic Zantac recall announcements on their own, including Apotex, Sandoz (Novartis), and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), and the European Union (EU) have also issued recalls on Zantac.

The following companies issued Zantac voluntary (ranitidine) recall announcements:

  • American Health Packaging
  • Amneal Pharmaceuticals
  • Aurobindo Pharma USA
  • Apotex Corp. (this includes over-the-counter ranitidine tablets 75 mg and 150 mg, labeled by Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite-Aid)
  • Appco Pharma
  • Denton Pharma (dba Northwind Pharmaceuticals)
  • Reddy’s Laboratories (this includes Zantac over-the-counter OTC medicines labeled by retailers such as Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Target, and Kroger)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
  • Golden State Medical Supply
  • Lannett Company
  • Novitium Pharma
  • Perrigo Company
  • Precision Dose
  • Sandoz
  • Sanofi

To stay updated on Zantac (ranitidine) recall announcements, we advise you to consult the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts page. The FDA alerts consumers with the recall reason and lists Zantac recall lot numbers, if applicable.

Zantac Replacement – What are the FDA Recommended Zantac Alternatives?

Deciding on a safe alternative to Zantac is something you should discuss with your doctor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommends the following Zantac replacement options:

  • Prilosec (omeprazole) – A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication commonly used to treat stomach acid-related conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) – A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces stomach acid production and treats GERD, ulcers, and other conditions.
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole) – A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) recommended for short-term ulcer and acid reflux treatment.
  • Pepcid (famotidine) – An H2 blocker that treats ulcers, GERD, and conditions that cause excess stomach acid.
  • Tagamet (cimetidine) – An H2 blocker that reduces acid in the stomach to treat ulcers and acid reflux.

Zantac Cancer Study – Does the Research Confirm Cancer Link?

Numerous studies have found that the NDMA in Zantac causes breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other forms of cancer. Below we highlight some of the most important research on Zantac.

2019 Valisure Study: How Zantac (Ranitidine) Produces NDMA

In 2019, Valisure conducted batch testing for Zantac (ranitidine) using FDA-recommended protocols. Valisure found NDMA levels as high as 3,267,968 ng (nanograms) per Zantac tablet, more than 34,000 times higher than the FDA limit of 96 ng or .096 mcg (micrograms).

Wondering if the increased heat of the testing process may have contributed to these results, Valisure decided to test ranitidine under conditions that simulated those found in the stomach (simulated gastric fluid with sodium nitrite). NDMA levels, while not as high, were still extraordinary, ranging from 23,600 ng to 304,500 ng, over 3,100 times the FDA’s “safe” limit.

“Valisure’s testing reveals NDMA levels so high that the nitroso for NDMA likely comes from no other source than the ranitidine molecule itself.” [Nitroso refers to an atomic grouping of nitrogen and oxygen, such as found in the nitrite group of NDMA.]

Valisure Citizen Petition on Ranitidine, September 9, 2019

Valisure also points to a third mechanism that could lead to NDMA production after Zantac is ingested – an enzyme, dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), that can react with ranitidine to “liberate” DMA from ranitidine, making it available to combine with nitrite from the ranitidine molecule, nitrite circulating in the body, or “other potential pathways particularly in weak acidic conditions such as that in the kidney or bladder.” This mechanism, according to Valisure, could generate millions of nanograms of NDMA throughout the body.

2021 Valisure Study on Zantac (Ranitidine)

The 2021 Valisure Zantac study analyzed NDMA production “under simulated physiologic gastric states.” What does this mean exactly? Researchers conducted the study by mimicking the human stomach ingesting a Zantac tablet across a broad range of pH concentrations, ranitidine concentrations, and nitrite concentrations. The study used FDA-recommended protocols for determining nitrosamines in ranitidine tablets.

The study found that Zantac “may be a significant source of NDMA under a range of physiologically relevant conditions.” Under numerous conditions meant to simulate the human stomach, Zantac NDMA levels increased with increasing nitrite levels and decreasing pH levels up to three orders of magnitude beyond established limits. The authors cautioned, “these data support recent regulatory actions to limit ranitidine availability.”

Study on Zantac Published in Cancers

Cancers published a study on Zantac in December of 2020. Researchers looked at data from the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS), searching adverse event reports of cancer stemming from primary and secondary use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 antagonists, the group of drugs to which Zantac belongs.

The study found elevated incidences of esophageal cancer, pharyngeal cancer, liver cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer, among others. The Cancers study provides “support for the assertion that NDMA contaminated ranitidine is associated with the occurrence of gastrointestinal cancer. This assertion was bolstered by an abundance of evidence demonstrating that NDMA exposure is associated with an increased risk of cancer in humans as well as animals.”

This research is similar to data from a 2000 study, which investigated the association between prescription ranitidine use and specific cancers. In the 2000 study, researchers found a statistically significant 2.4-fold increased risk for stomach cancer and esophageal cancer.

Sloan Kettering Study Finds Association Between Ranitidine and Cancer

Researchers from the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center conducted the study, ‘Ranitidine use, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) production and variations in cancer diagnoses’. The study used similar methods to the 2021 Valisure study above.

The Sloan Kettering study analyzed ranitidine NDMA production under various simulated gastric conditions. Researchers also conducted an epidemiologic analysis to evaluate potential associations between ranitidine and several forms of cancer.

According to the authors, Zantac produces increasing amounts of NDMA over time (up to, and likely beyond four hours) and with increasing sodium nitrite concentrations. The study found positive associations for bladder cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid cancer.

Epidemiological Studies of Zantac and Cancer

Very few epidemiological studies of patients taking Zantac have been conducted. In a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, adult male health professionals with peptic ulcers were followed for 14 years (1986 – 2000). The subjects of the study were asked if they used either Tagamet or Zantac as a treatment. The authors of the study reported that use of either drug was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, though the increase fell short of statistical significance.

Other Zantac Studies

A true Zantac cancer study in humans—where humans are deliberately given Zantac to ingest to observe the results—has not been conducted and never will, as it would be unethical. However, a 1983 study of ranitidine in rodents found that it produced several “genotoxic effects,” including DNA fragmentation in the liver and gastric mucosa (the mucous membrane that lines the stomach). Significantly, studies of Tagamet (cimetidine), another antacid in Zantac’s class (H2 blockers), did not show DNA damage.

Genetic damage is known to be at the root of all cancers. A 2013 meta-analysis of studies that examined the relationship between various acid-suppressing drugs and gastric cancer concluded that that “acid suppressive drugs are associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.”

These studies support three important points underlying the danger posed by Zantac:

  • NDMA is carcinogenic in humans in exceedingly small amounts.
  • Levels of NDMA produced by Zantac are extremely high.
  • The problem with Zantac is not an “impurity” in the drug, but rather the design of the drug itself and how that design makes Zantac itself a carcinogen.

NDMA has not been directly tested in humans. The cancer risk is too high. However, we know from years of research that humans are regularly exposed to NDMA via many foods and beverages. This has provided a means of testing NDMA’s carcinogenic potential—and by extension the carcinogenicity of Zantac—in humans indirectly.

Contact us today at (855) 948-5098 for more information on how we can assist you with filing a Zantac lawsuit.

Zantac Lawsuit FAQs

  • Q:Is My Zantac Lawsuit Part of a Class Action?

    A:It depends on your claims for damages. For example, if you took Zantac and were diagnosed with some form of cancer (or if a family member took Zantac and was diagnosed with cancer), you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturers of Zantac and/or over-the-counter Zantac (OTC). An individual personal injury Zantac lawsuit allows people who developed cancer to obtain the maximum possible compensation for their injuries. Conversely, if you took Zantac and never developed cancer, you could still seek compensation by filing a class action lawsuit against the makers of prescription Zantac and/or Zantac OTC. A Zantac class action lawsuit allows consumers who purchased prescription Zantac or generic Zantac (ranitidine) to recover the money spent on purchasing the medication.

  • Q:Who Can Join the Zantac Class Action Lawsuit?

    A: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.

  • Q:Does Zantac Cause Cancer?

    A:Yes, Zantac can cause cancer. Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, produces high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) classify NDMA as a cancer-causing chemical. The ranitidine molecule contains both a nitrite and a dimethylamine (DMA) group. These combine to form NDMA.

  • Q:Is Zantac Contaminated?

    A:No, we do not believe impurities or contaminants during manufacturing are what is causing the Zantac issue. The high levels of NDMA in Zantac are inherent to the molecular structure of ranitidine, meaning the drug is defective by design. In its April 2020 Zantac market withdrawal announcement, the FDA continued to use the term “impurity” when referring to NDMA in ranitidine. Our firm believes this is a mischaracterization of the issue; Zantac is a defective and dangerous drug that is capable of causing cancer.

  • Q:Should I Stop Taking Ranitidine?

    A:Yes. While the FDA continues to protect drug makers instead of the general public by failing to pull Zantac from the shelves, people should consult with their physicians about finding a suitable alternative.

  • Q:Is There a Safe Zantac Dosage?

    A:No. The high levels of NDMA in Zantac should deter patients from taking the medication. With several safe alternatives, consult with your physician about what Zantac substitute is best for you.

  • Q:Is There a Good Substitute for Zantac?

    A:Yes, there are several good alternatives to Zantac, including: Nexium (esomeprazole), Pepcid (famotidine), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), and Tagamet (cimetidine). All of these drugs show no NDMA during testing. Pepsid and Tagament are good options for chemotherapy patients who were prescribed Zantac or Zantac OTC to control acid reflux, heartburn, and gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).

  • Q:What Will It Cost to Hire a Zantac Attorney?

    A:We provide free Zantac case reviews to anyone who fills out our contact form or calls our offices. It costs you nothing out of pocket to retain our law firm to represent you and pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. We don’t see a dime until we win your case.

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Join the Zantac Lawsuit

On Feb. 24, 2020, the judge overseeing the Zantac MDL (federal multi-district litigation) appointed our shareholder Brent Wisner to the Practices and Procedures team to help establish the protocols and methodology for litigating the tens of thousands of cases to be filed in the months and years to come. Brent also serves as Co-Chair of the Zantac Litigation Group for American Association for Justice and has been invited to deliver numerous Zantac presentations at prestigious national lawyer conferences across the nation.

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has earned a reputation for winning big cases against big companies. In practice for nearly 50 years, our firm has obtained more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements across all areas of practice on behalf of people just like you. One our cases against Monsanto for Roundup cancer defects resulted in a $2.055 billion verdict for our clients, the second-largest personal injury verdict in the nation in 2019, and the ninth-largest personal injury verdict in American history. A similar case resulted in a $289.2 million verdict on behalf of our client, the second-largest jury verdict in the state of California for 2018.

Get Started Today

But our success isn’t just measured by the financial compensation we bring in on behalf of our clients. We are also committed consumer advocates who work tirelessly to protect people and the environment from harmful products. If you took Zantac and developed cancer, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about filing a Zantac lawsuit. Based in Los Angeles and serving clients nationwide, our attorneys at Baum Hedlund have vast experience holding big corporations accountable for concealing the true dangers of consumer products.
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