By: Josh Ferrell
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Zantac (Ranitidine) Litigation: What You Need To Know!
Zantac is a popular over-the-counter medication patients use to treat heartburn. Its active ingredient is ranitidine, a histamine-2 blocker that works by reducing the level of acid in the stomach. Several other prescription and over-the-counter heartburn medications also contain ranitidine. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has linked this ingredient to a probable human carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
What Is Zantac?
Zantac is a medication with the generic name ranitidine. It belongs to a group of drugs known as histamine-2 blockers, which reduce the amount of stomach acid you produce. Zantac was primarily used to treat heartburn, a condition that occurs when contents from the stomach rise into the esophagus, leading to a painful burning sensation and other unpleasant symptoms. Chronic heartburn that interferes with your daily life is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Doctors recommended prescription and over-the-counter Zantac to treat painful ailments such as stomach ulcers, GERD, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and other conditions that contribute to the overproduction of stomach acid. However, the FDA asked for the recall of all forms of ranitidine over the presence of NDMA, which may contribute to higher rates of cancer among patients.
Zantac and NDMA Injuries and Side Effects
Like all medications, Zantac can cause several side effects in patients. Common Zantac side effects include the following.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
Zantac may also trigger severe, life-threatening side effects in patients. If you experience any of the following after taking Zantac, stop using it immediately and see a doctor.
- Jaundice and dark urine
- Stomach pain and loss of appetite
- Fever or chills
- Cough with mucus
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heart rate
- Issues with your skin or hair
- Easy bruising or bleeding
In addition to these listed side effects, Zantac may increase patients’ risk for cancer. In September 2019, online pharmaceutical company Valisure discovered NDMA, a chemical that researchers use to induce tumors in laboratory animals, is a probable human carcinogen, in some batches of Zantac.
Rocket fuel manufacturers used to rely on NDMA to produce its products, but ceased use after unusually high levels of this chemical appeared in the air, water, and soil around a manufacturing plant. NDMA may contribute to a higher risk of certain types of cancer among Zantac patients, which may include the following.
- Bladder cancer and removal
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer and removal
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Esophageal cancer
Attorneys representing Zantac cancer victims are accepting cases involving many types of cancer. If you developed any form of cancer after taking Zantac, speak to a lawyer at Ferrell & Brown, PLLC.
Why Did the FDA Recall Zantac?
Valisure’s discovery of NDMA in certain batches of Zantac prompted the FDA to launch an investigation. The FDA continued to test batches of generic ranitidine products and Zantac medication for the presence of NDMA to determine whether the drugs contained dangerously high levels. In April 2020, the FDA requested the removal of all ranitidine products from the American market, including Zantac.
The FDA issued this decision for several reasons. The FDA explains that, while low levels of NDMA will not affect cancer risk, a Zantac patient may ingest unacceptable levels of NDMA. The FDA’s investigation determined that some ranitidine products contain dangerous levels of NDMA contamination. This impurity may worsen the longer a product is stored and may increase when a product is exposed to higher than room temperatures. In some cases, NDMA levels increased even when researchers stored the drug properly.
Due to the uncertainty of the supply chain and the volatility of the NDMA impurity, the FDA recommends that all Zantac patients immediately stop taking the drug and dispose of the medication safely. If you have unused Zantac medication in your home, take the pills to a drug take back location in your area. If there are no drug take back programs near you, you can dispose of Zantac at home.
- First, mix the medicine with an unappealing substance such as cat litter or dirt.
- Next, place the mixture in a sealed container, such as a plastic bag.
- Throw away the sealed container in your household trash.
Why Are Patients Filing Zantac Lawsuits?
NDMA is a potentially dangerous chemical classified as a probable human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) based on lab tests. Zantac contains extremely high levels of NDMA, putting consumers at great potential risk of harm. Laboratory tests have shown Zantac to contain up to 0.36 micrograms of NDMA per tablet, while the acceptable daily intake limit is just 0.096 micrograms. Class actions against Zantac state that the manufacturing company, Sanofi Pharmaceutical, failed to warn consumers of the known risks of its drugs-related to NDMA, despite having scientific evidence of its carcinogenic properties.
Dangerous levels of NDMA in Zantac may expose consumers who take this over-the-counter medication to the risk of developing serious health complications. Ingesting NDMA can increase the risk of developing cancers of the kidney, liver, stomach, esophagus, bladder and uterus. Liver fibrosis, scarring and tumors in the lungs are also potential health risks associated with NDMA. Symptoms of N-nitrosodimethylamine exposure in Zantac users can include stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever, headaches, jaundice and reduced organ function.
It is no secret that cancer is a painful condition that affects many aspects of our lives. With a cancer diagnosis, you will need to undergo intensive medical care, which may include chemotherapy, harsh medications, invasive surgeries, and lengthy hospitalizations. You may lose large amounts of wages and face physical and psychological trauma. These experiences can contribute to significant financial loss and pain and suffering.
You can hold Zantac’s manufacturer accountable for your losses by filing a lawsuit for your cancer-related damages. Many former Zantac patients are filing these claims to recover compensation related to their cancer diagnosis and treatment, including long-term care costs. The attorneys at Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC can help you determine if you qualify for a lawsuit, discuss the types of compensation you may be eligible for, and guide you through each step of the litigation process.
What Is the Burden of Proof During a Zantac Claim?
If you are experiencing health problems commonly associated with NDMA as a Zantac user, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturing company. Sanofi may be liable for your illness or a loved one’s death due to the failure to warn consumers of a known risk. To hold a large pharmaceutical company liable for your damages, you will need to gather sufficient evidence to prove three key elements.
- First, you will need to prove that the medication you took contained a defect. This could be a defect in its design, makeup, manufacture, distribution and/or marketing. In cases of Zantac-related cancer, you could hold Sanofi liable for the defective design of the drug, as well as the failure to warn patients of its cancer-related side effects.
- Second, you will need to prove that the defective drug caused your injury or illness. Your attorney must establish a causal link between the defective medication and the health complication in question. In the case of Zantac litigation, you will need to prove that you developed cancer after taking the medication for a certain period of time. Your attorney can use medical records, expert testimony, and scientific research to establish this link.
- Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered damages as a result of your Zantac use. As a plaintiff, you must have proof of compensable damages related to the medication, such as medical bills or wrongful death. Your attorney can inform you of the damages you may qualify for and help you gather the necessary evidence to prove them.
Unlike other types of claims, your Zantac lawyer will not need to prove the manufacturing company’s negligence, fault or fraud if you have the elements of a strict product liability lawsuit. Your lawyer may also, however, be able to bring a claim on the basis of negligence or a breach of warranty depending on the circumstances.
If you plan to file a lawsuit against Zantac’s manufacturer, you need an attorney on your side. Your lawyer will be able to launch a comprehensive investigation into your claim and gather the evidence necessary to prove each of the three elements of strict product liability.
What Are the Damages In A Zantac Lawsuit?
The purpose of a Zantac lawsuit is to compensate you for the damages you suffered as a result of the manufacturer’s actions. Cancer is an expensive and aggressive disease that can cause several economic and non-economic losses. Zantac plaintiffs have the right to collect compensation for their financial, physical, and emotional damages related to their cancer diagnoses, which may include the following.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of quality of life
- Disability accommodations
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Physical pain and disability
- Emotional distress
- Depression and anxiety
Certain factors may increase or decrease the potential value of your award. For example, if you develop melanoma after taking Zantac and your doctors catch the condition at an early stage, you may be able to treat and overcome your cancer without lengthy or long-term medical treatment. As a result, your settlement award will likely be lower than if you developed an aggressive form of breast cancer, which would require longer, more intensive, and more expensive treatment and long-term care.
CALL FERRELL & BROWN
Consult a physician if you believe you believe your medication has caused you harm. After that, please give us a call right away. We are working with mass tort litigation firms to protect the rights of people injured by products such as Zantac, talcum powder, and Philips CPAP machines.Our initial consultation is absolutely free and you won’t pay a cent unless you’re awarded money first.
SERIOUS INJURIES – REQUIRE SERIOUS ATTORNEYS
Our firm understands the repercussions of a serious injury or illness. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you should not have to fight the uphill battle for compensation on your own. When you hire Ferrell & Brown, you are hiring a devoted, caring, and aggressive team who will tenaciously fight for you. If you or someone you know has been injured and wishes to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Ferrell & Brown.