Zantac (Ranitidine) was a popular over-the-counter remedy for conditions like heartburn, stomach ache, acid reflux, and other common digestive ailments. Unfortunately, Zantac, and its generic products, contain a contaminant called N-Nitrosodimehtylamine linked to several cancers. The FDA requested its removal from the market on April 1, 2020, when it confirmed the carcinogen levels were higher than what is safe for consumption.
If you or a loved one faces a cancer diagnosis after using Zantac products, you need dedicated legal representation. The attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine offer over two decades of experience litigating on behalf of product liability victims. We ensure, helping you receive fair compensation arising from illness or injury resulting from this drug. Our representation secures the payment you require to treat your condition, obtain lost wages, and offer your family support during this difficult time.
Zantac, and its generic equivalent, Ranitidine, belongs to a class of drugs called histamine or H2 blockers. These heartburn medications work by reducing acid production in your stomach, so you do not face pain, acid reflux, or heartburn, making it a common treatment for stomach and throat issues, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and erosive esophagitis. It was also an effective treatment for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a condition that forms tumors in the digestive tract).
Since more than 60 million Americans suffer heartburn at least once a month and 15 million Americans experience it every day, there is no doubt about the popularity of heartburn and GERD remedies. People seek relief, and Zantac was one of the options. There is no doubt this treatment was extremely profitable to their manufacturers, which made overlooking possible dangers tempting.
A private lab discovered the dangers of Zantac and reported its findings to the FDA. In response, the FDA suspended sales in September 2019, but it stopped short on ceasing manufacturing or advising the public to stop taking Ranitidine. That order did not go forward until April 2020.
Meanwhile, large drug store chains, including Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS, pulled all Zantac and Ranitidine products voluntarily. Manufacturers also started their recall and limited sales.
But these issues were not new in 2019. Researchers knew Ranitidine's carcinogenic effects since the early 1980s. Lawsuits frequently suggest its manufacturers suppressed the information to continue sales. Other studies followed and suppressed. That decision placed millions of people at risk of cancer and opened these companies to product liability lawsuits.
If you still keep Zantac products in your home, dispose of them immediately and watch for new symptoms. See a doctor if they escalate and call an NYC product liability lawyer if you develop any cancers linked to using Zantac. You may have a cause of action against Ranitidine drug makers and require our personal injury law firm.
The dangers of Zantac arise from n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a manufacturing byproduct, and you can find it in food, medicine, and even drinking water. It is harmless at low levels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) determined NDMA is safe up to 96 nanograms a day. Zantac exceeded that amount at the time of the FDA recall. Valisure, an online pharmacy service, requested a drug safety review due to the high levels of NDMA. Emery Pharma performed its research and discovered NDMA increased by 25 nanograms after sitting in storage at room temperature for 12 days.
These discoveries led WHO and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to classify Ranitidine as a probable human carcinogen. Risk increased for patients who used NDMA-containing blood pressure medications in addition to Ranitidine. Further studies indicated Ranitidine develops other impurities in addition to NDMA contamination as it ages closer to its expiration date. There are no discussions on whether these impurities also cause cancer.
At this time, Sanofi, Sandoz, Apotex, Perrigo, GlaxoSmithKline, and other pharmaceutical companies voluntarily recalled their Ranitidine medications. Retail outlets no longer sell these products. New theories emerge on why Zantac develops such a high NDMA level, and more information surfaces regarding suppression of past studies regarding NDMA and Zantac.
NDMA overexposure causes headaches, jaundice, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, enlarged liver, reduced liver and kidney function, and dizziness. Zantac caused side effects that closely resembled the symptoms of NDMA poisoning:
In worst-case scenarios, NDMA exposure causes cancer. Cancers linked to Zantac include:
NDMA lands in the “extremely hazardous” category under federal acts. It is tightly regulated, and companies that use or store it must follow precautions. When manufacturers fail to follow these precautions, they are liable for damages, including illness and injury. If you adverse symptoms or a cancer diagnosis after Zantac use and NDMA exposure, consult with a New York toxic exposure lawyer so you can file a claim and hold manufacturers responsible.
The first Zantac lawsuits started in 2019 after the FDA announced the presence of NDMA in the drug. It arose from California and named manufacturers Sanofi and Boerhringer Ingelheim as defendants. The lawsuit alleged the companies knowingly sold and marketed a dangerous drug. Cases continued after the FDA announced recalls on Zantac and Ranitidine.
Studies continue to find reasons why Zantac produces rising NDMA levels, and that further supports causes of action against Zantac and Ranitidine products. Evidence also suggests that manufacturers knew of the NDMA problem and distributed the drug anyway. Besides NDMA levels rising at room temperature, studies also confirmed that exposure to water also contributes to NDMA levels in Zantac.
Zantac lawsuits did not start until 2019, after the FDA’s first warning. The primary claim in these lawsuits states the defendant drug makers knew their products contained NDMA and never warned consumers. Studies from as far back as 1981 indicated these dangers, yet companies did not research them further or place a warning on their products.
Lawsuits exploded with this information. In February 2020, the United States Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated cases in the Southwest District of Florida under one judge. As of February 2021, the panel reported 562 cases remained pending. Attorneys proposed class-action lawsuits in New Jersey, California, Florida, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Since Zantac use was widespread, courts brace for further claims.
Due to these lawsuits being recent developments, there are no verdicts. However, as more people discover cancer diagnoses after Zantac or generic Ranitidine use, lawsuits will likely increase. Even if you do not start in a class-action lawsuit, know that courts may combine cases to manage them better, especially if plaintiffs suffered similar damages.
There are no “qualifications” for a Zantac lawsuit but elements required to create a valid claim for consideration.
These elements include:
You must be sure you used this heartburn drug, so it helps to know which Zantac brands have been recalled. Your answer to this question is all of them--including generic and brand name Zantac. However, you may recognize them better under these names:
Keep in mind that many drug store chains released their generic version of Ranitidine. While this list includes the most popular ones, it is not all-inclusive. You can check online to see if your preferred drug store distributed its Ranitidine product.
You may be able to document Zantac usage on your medical records. You will see them in your prescription lists as Zantac or Ranitidine. Your doctor may have recommended over-the-counter (OTC) Ranitidine, too, so look in the notes carefully. The difference is in the dosage; OTC medication varied between 75 and 150 mg. Prescriptions contained up to 300 mg. Either recommendation will reflect in your records.
If you cannot document Ranitidine use through medical records, check and see if you have any receipts, bottles, or packages that once contained the medication. Since it is unlikely you have these items, especially if you used Zantac for years or stopped two years ago, see if loved ones and caretakers remember picking up your medication regularly. Confirming use through your memory alone will make your claim more difficult.
Once you qualify, we review medical records, interview experts, and assess your expenses to evaluate your claim and form a litigation strategy. When you schedule a consultation, please bring any Zantac prescriptions, receipts, and doctor contact information so we can start building your case.
Defendants in a Zantac lawsuit include manufacturers. Common names in cases so far include Sanofi US Services, Inc., Chattem, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline.
If you developed cancer from Zantac use, we would pursue the following damages on your behalf:
If you are filing a lawsuit on behalf of a loved one who perished from Zantac-caused cancer, your damages are slightly different. They include:
Another possibility for lawsuits is punitive damages. These are payments designed to punish the defendant. They arise when negligence is egregious, and the court decides to make an example out of the defendant. There is speculation that they may apply to these cases since these companies ignored nearly 40 years of studies and pushed these products to the market anyway.
Since these lawsuits are extensive, with the potential to become more so, know that a New York mass tort attorney has the most experience handling these large claims. Depending on developments, we may represent you in an individual lawsuit or assemble a class action.
First, see if you can establish when you started and stopped taking Zantac or any Ranitidine product. You may know from your online medical records or prescriptions. If you do not have documents, see if a family member or caretaker remembers buying or picking up Zantac for you.
Second, schedule a free consultation with Raphaelson & Levine. We can review your records and see if a probable link exists between Zantac and your cancer diagnosis.
New York limits the time you have to file a lawsuit. For defective drugs, your statute of limitations is likely three years from the date you discovered your cancer diagnosis. However, since Zantac claims could be classified as toxic torts, you may only have one year to file a lawsuit. Contact us as soon as possible to be safe and ensure you can collect damages.
First, know that civil claims need to show the preponderance of the evidence rather than a definite link. Our burden is to show that your cancer diagnosis, more likely than not, resulted from Zantac.
Second, Raphaelson & Levine offers tenacious legal representation, but we also know our limits. We network with experts in many fields, including drug safety, to assess cases correctly and establish where manufacturers were negligent. These experts will testify on the link between Zantac and cancer and explain how it occurs. Our experts will also explain how manufacturers ignored warnings and failed to test their products. This approach presents a strong probable link between Zantac and cancer while also showing that drug manufacturers acted negligently and put the public in danger.
Could There Be a Link Between My Medication and Their Condition?
There is a current lawsuit where a child developed testicular cancer, and it claims he developed cancer from his mother’s Zantac use. Since Ranitidine is a known carcinogen, and carcinogens can transfer to a fetus in utero, you likely have a valid claim. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your claim and see if our experts verify the link.
If we file a lawsuit and pursue a jury trial, your claim will take about two to four years. While this may sound hopeless, know that many claims settle before trial, and research on the Zantac-cancer link updates every day. When study and science become more substantial, we are more likely to settle than put you through a long-drawn-out trial.
However, even if it comes to that, know that Raphaelson & Levine remains on your side and will see you through every step. Our dedication to helping injured people is vast, and we offer the same commitment to your case. If drug manufacturer defendants dig in and fail to take responsibility for your illness, we will push right back. We do our best for every client to secure the compensation you need, even if your case takes a challenging turn.
I suspect my loved one developed cancer after years of taking Zantac. Could I have a claim?
While your claim is more complex, we will evaluate the possibility with you and recommend a course of action. Contact our office for a free case evaluation as soon as possible so you do not miss any deadlines for filing a lawsuit.
If you suspect a recent cancer diagnosis arose from past Zantac use, you can schedule a free lawyer consultation at Raphaelson & Levine in New York City. We are proud to be the voice of the injured in New York City and look forward to helping you with your Zantac lawsuit. Remember that time is of the essence with civil lawsuits, so call or contact our law firm soon at 212-268-3222.