Zantac, a well-known heartburn medication, contains a carcinogenic ingredient linked to numerous types of cancers. If you developed cancer after taking Zantac, it’s important to consult an injury lawyer to find out what cancers qualify for the Zantac lawsuit.
What Is Zantac?
Zantac is a popular heartburn medication that is commonly taken to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and stomach ulcers. Pfizer, a well-known drug manufacturer, first introduced Zantac in 1981. In 2002, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the generic version of ranitidine that was marketed under the name Zantac. Since 2002, it’s estimated that millions of people have taken Zantac either in prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) forms. Prescription strengths are usually prescribed to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines, while OTC products in lower doses are most often used to treat heartburn, indigestion, and GERD, a common gastrointestinal disorder.
Zantac Contains NDMA
What is NDMA? N-nitroso dimethylamine (NDMA) is known to be a probable human carcinogen that proves the relationship between Zantac and cancer. NDMA has been linked to various gastrointestinal cancers including stomach cancer and bladder cancer, as well as cancer of the esophagus, liver, pancreas, and colon. NDMA is considered to be especially dangerous for human consumption because it breaks down during normal digestive processes into tiny particles that can be easily absorbed by internal organs. NDMA is also known to break down faster when it is stored in overly warm or high-heat environments over long periods of time in warehouses, on store shelves, or in consumer medicine cabinets.
In 2019, FDA testing revealed concerning levels of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine products. Although FDA testing showed relatively low levels of NDMA in some Zantac products, higher levels were found in ranitidine products (the generic forms of Zantac). The levels of cancer-causing chemicals in some ranitidine drugs were found to be 3,000 times higher than the levels determined to be safe by the FDA. Testing also showed that ranitidine drugs with older manufactured dates showed much higher levels of NDMA, confirming the FDA’s concerns about NDMA breaking down much faster during the long-term storage of these drugs.
In 2016, the FDA issued warnings to consumers about the potential risks posed by exposure to NDMA. In 2017, the FDA announced that it would require all manufacturers of prescription drugs containing NDMA to include warning labels regarding the potential health risks associated with long-term use. On April 1, 2020, the FDA announced their findings of unacceptable amounts of NDMA in ranitidine products and requested all pharmaceutical companies to recall these products. Since then, more than a dozen major pharmaceutical companies have had Zantac recalled and pulled from shelves of major pharmacies and retailers across the country.
Zantac Side Effects
Over the last decade, there have been thousands of reports by physicians, consumers, and injury lawyers of serious side effects associated with Zantac. Common serious Zantac side effects reported include the following:
- Intestinal bleeding
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney failure
- Thyroid problems
Serious Zantac side effects may be listed under what cancers qualify for the Zantac lawsuit. For individuals who experience serious symptoms related to taking Zantac, it’s essential to talk to an injury lawyer who can address questions about a Zantac injury lawsuit and receive compensation for cancer-related illnesses or injuries.
Less serious side effects from taking Zantac may include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, loss of appetite, stomach pain, headache, and insomnia. Long-term side effects may include anemia, poor liver function, dizziness or vertigo, and meningitis.
Additionally, some people taking Zantac reported a severe allergic reaction known as angioedema. This condition often causes severe swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, and airways that result in pain, wheezing, problems swallowing, and breathing difficulties.
Determining Who Qualifies for the Zantac Lawsuit
Since the FDA issued recalls for Zantac and ranitidine products in 2020, thousands of Zantac lawsuits have been filed. It was established by the FDA that Zantac caused cancer, but not all cancer victims qualified to file a Zantac injury lawsuit. Certain criteria establish what cancers qualify for the Zantac lawsuit.
Most plaintiffs filing Zantac lawsuits are individuals who developed cancer after taking ranitidine products. There are thousands of plaintiffs and the list is still growing. There are also several class-action lawsuits that include plaintiffs who used ranitidine products but have not gotten sick or experienced any serious side effects. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits are looking for reimbursement for the cost of their medications, and some are seeking equitable relief, such as medical monitoring.
Filing a Zantac Lawsuit
To file a Zantac-related cancer lawsuit, you must follow guidelines regarding what cancers qualify for the Zantac lawsuit. The following requirements must be met:
- You must receive a cancer diagnosis from a licensed physician
- You must show proof of taking Zantac (prescription records from your doctor or pharmacy)
- You must show a direct link between your cancer diagnosis and taking Zantac
- You must be taking Zantac for an extended time (usually at least one year or more)
Many lawsuits filed for product-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths are filed against drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. It’s difficult to provide an average payout amount in such cases, but if you compare a Zantac lawsuit to similar mass tort cases involving cancer, it’s not unreasonable that the average settlement payout could be as high as $500,000. In wrongful death cases that involve unsafe or dangerous medications, the payout can be even higher. This is especially true when the FDA has linked those medications to known carcinogenic ingredients and issued a recall for those drugs.
When filing a Zantac lawsuit, cancer victims must file the lawsuit within the Zantac statute of limitations. In Illinois, this is two years after the injury occurred. If you develop cancer after taking Zantac, a confirmed medical diagnosis and proof of a direct link to Zantac are essential for successful lawsuit results.