Zantac Cancer Lawsuit (Ranitidine Lawsuit)

People were taking what they thought were safe antacid pills but may be been ingesting high levels of a carcinogen instead without knowing it
Zantac LawsuitZantac Lawsuit
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Last Updated: November 1, 2021

Zantac Lawsuit Latest Updates

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer and used ZANTAC (Ranitidine) regularly, you may be entitled to compensation

The lawsuit against the manufactures of Zantac and Ranitidine accuses the companies of creating and marketing a medication they knew contained the cancer-causing chemical (NDMA) without disclosing the risks to consumers or the government. 

Zantac Case Quick Facts

  • Since July 2021 many more Zantac cases have been filed and the Zantac lawsuit is moving forward.
  • Zantac MDL District Judge Rosenberg has dismissed claims against retailers (Albertsons, Amazon, Costco, CVS Pharmacy, The Kroger Co. and Walgreen)
  • Biggest Award: First Case Outcomes Still Pending
  • Medication Introduction Date: 1981
  • Intended Use: OTC ranitidine is commonly used to relieve and prevent heartburn. Prescription strengths are also used to treat and prevent more serious ulcers in the stomach and intestines.
  • Side-Effects: Exposure to alarming high levels of a cancer causing chemical NDMA

About Zantac

What Is The Lawsuit About

The popular antacid drug Zantac's main ingredient ranitidine has been found to contain very high levels of a cancer-causing chemical called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). 

Around 1.8 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year, and many will be left wondering if it has been caused by overexposure to NDMA found in the common heartburn treatment Zantac. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has already ordered Zantac to be pulled from the shelves, but many think Zantac manufacturers, including Big Pharma companies like Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, must be held accountable for their actions. As such, 1000s of claimants are expected to file personal injury lawsuits against Zantac producers.

Zantac Cancer Lawsuit
Zantac Cancer Lawsuit

When Was The Zantac Cancer Risk Discovered?

 

In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first issued a public safety warning about a possible Zanact cancer risk after it became aware of results from an independent laboratory that found high levels of NDMA in ranitidine. At the time, the agency said it did not have enough scientific evidence to recommend whether individuals should continue or stop taking ranitidine medicines. However now after conducting its own research and evaluation, similar results were found by the FDA and in April 2020 the agency ordered the drug to be removed from the market completely.

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer and used ZANTAC (Ranitidine) regularly, you may be entitled to compensation

What is NDMA?

N-Nitrosodimethylamine ("NDMA") is a chemical that is usually created as a byproduct of either a natural chemical process in nature or of a manufacturing process. It can be found in small traces in many products and foods around the world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all classify NDMA as a cancer-causing chemical yet NDMA in low doses is not considered dangerous (The FDA has set the acceptable daily intake of NDMA at 96 nanograms). However in high dosages, such as the ones recently found in Zantac, the chemical is considered very dangerous to the human body.

What Are The Cancer Risks of NDMA?

There have been many studies over the last 30 years showing a link between NDMA and cancer. The International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) unit of the World Health Organization reviewed all studies and warns that NDMA is considered a carcinogenic (cancer causing) in 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.

Exposure to NDMA in ranitidine has been linked to a number of cancers including Stomach cancer, Colon or Intestinal cancer, Kidney cancer, Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer, Bladder cancer, Liver cancer, Prostate cancer, Lung Cancer, Brain cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Prostate cancer, and Rectal cancer.

NDMA Dangers in Zantac

The major risks of cancer and NDMA have to do with the levels of the chemical found in the drug. Both the FDA and other third party labs using FDA approved testing found NDMA levels in ranitidine to be “alarming high”. The testing done by independent pharmacy Valisure’s lab found the levels to be more than 3,000 times higher than the FDA recommended daily dose.

The FDA has agreed that the levels of NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine products increase over time to an unacceptable level for daily intake yet the FDA calls the high NDMA levels found in Zantac an “impurity”. The agency says that NDMA was present in both the finished drug product samples and the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). But two other independent labs using FDA approved testing does not show this. According to their tests NDMA is not added instead it is formed as a by-product of the chemical process that happens when the drug sits out. Emery Pharma testing shows that NDMA can increase during storage, especially if the drug is exposed to high heat and even while it remains in the package. In addition the Valisure testing results show that NDMA is actually formed in the body upon consumption. In September 2019 they sent a citizen petition to the FDA warning of their findings.

NDMA

New Research Discoveries with NDMA

A Stanford University research study from 2016 further supports the results made by Valisure. Urine samples were tested from adults 24 hours before and after ingestion of a standard dose of 150 mg of ranitidine. The results found that levels of NDMA in the urine increased 400-fold, from 110 ng to 47,600 ng. These levels, the researchers believe, show there has been a large underestimation of the actual NDMA exposure in the body, since only a small fraction of the NDMA is actually excreted in the urine.

Clearly more investigation and transparency is needed by the FDA and other governing bodies into the cancer risks of NDMA in ranitidine drugs. Yet based on the knowledge currently available there is enough evidence to show that NDMA levels in Zantac are not safe.

Zantac Lawsuit

Types of Cancer Linked to Zantac

Studies are still being carried out as to the cancer-causing properties of NDMA in Zantac. However, the FDA has called NDMA a “probable” carcinogen. And, that has led many to consider if Zantac use was responsible – or partly responsible – for the cancer they, or their loved ones, have developed. The following types of cancers may have particular links to Zantac:

Zantac Bladder cancer – A 2004 study showed that ulcer-sufferers taking Zantac, or another antacid, Tagamet, had a heightened risk of developing bladder cancer.

Zantac Stomach cancer – Sometimes referred to as gastric cancer, stomach cancer has many subtypes that can form in the digestive tract. Several of these stomach cancers have been linked to NDMA and Zantac.

Zantac and Testicular cancer – Some lawyers have claimed that testicular cancer can develop in young boys when their mothers have taken Zantac when pregnant.

Breast cancer – Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, accounting for 53% of all cancer cases in the United States and 54% of the deaths. While the FDA has yet to cite specific cancers caused by NDMA, breast cancer is often cited in studies.

Kidney CancerKidney cancer was one of the first lawsuits filed against Zantac. The Lawsuit against Zantac and Ranitidine producers came from an Ohio woman who developed stage four kidney cancer after taking two Zantc pills per day for 12 years.

Symptoms and Side Effects

Anyone with cancer symptoms – even if you were regularly taking Zantac in the past – should not panic. Common cancer symptoms can also be symptoms of other (non-serious) ailments. These could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • dramatic weight loss
  • changing bowel movements
  • blood in the urine or stool
  • lump(s) in the breast or testicles
  • discharge of the breast
  • loss of appetite
  • persistent fever.

While it’s important not to panic, it’s advisable to contact your doctor if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

It’s quite unusual to get side effects from Zantac or other antacid drugs, but some users have reported stomach and bowel complaints, such as diarrhoea, nausea, constipation and stomach aches. Other reported Zantac/ranitidine side effects include swollen/tender breasts, insomnia, and headaches. As with all ailments, you should contact your doctor if the symptoms persist. Some serious Zantac side effects have been reported such as coughing up yellow/green mucus, darkness in the urine, physical weakness, vision problems, and yellowness of the skin. You should seek medical advice immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.

How Have Affected People Fought Back?

As much of the information surrounding Ranitidine is relatively new, cases against Zantac have only just begun. As of March 2020 there are 140 cases with thousands of people filing suits against Zantac, however most legal experts believe that this is only the beginning and expect a huge number of Zantac lawsuits getting filed over the next few years.

It seems that many of the Zantac lawsuits are in the process of being consolidated into class actions and MDLs (multidistrict litigations). This makes it easier for courts to hear cases with a large number of plaintiffs.

Joining a lawsuit would help hold the makers of Zantac accountable for not protecting consumer rights and would push for the strengthening of consumer protections in the future which would include rules for updating labelling on drugs and recalling other drugs with problematic levels of NDMA. In addition it will help those who have suffered harm from the company’s unethical behaviour receive compensation.

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Zantac Lawsuit: Important Updates June 2021

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Case Updates

In February 2020, federal judges approved 15 Zantac lawsuits to be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation to be heard in a Florida court. An MDL is a means of streamlining the process of pretrial proceedings and discovery, allowing lawyers in the Zantac case to share important information and potentially leading to settlements. New Zantac claimants can join the MDL in Florida, but other cases are pending in courts across the United States.

In April 2020, the FDA reasserted its call for the removal of all ranitidine (Zantac) products from the market immediately. The FDA said it was part of “an ongoing investigation” into NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine medications. In its statement, the FDA reiterated its belief that NDMA found in Zantac is a “probable carcinogen” (cancer-causing product).

In June 2020, it was reported that California law firms aimed to consolidate the claims of 40 Zantac lawsuit claimants. As with the MDL in Florida mentioned above, consolidation of multiple cases helps streamline the process. Moreover, such alignment of multiple cases is seen as beneficial to the claims of individual plaintiffs.

Connect With A Lawyer

Many Americans are wondering if they have developed cancer due to defective Zantac antacid drugs. However, it is important that any Zantac victims find the right lawyer for their needs and this case. Cases like  Zantac are complex, involving different cancers, various medical studies, and defendants (Big Pharma) with unlimited resources. For that reason, you will want to find experienced personal injury lawyers to ensure your case against Zantac brings about the best outcome for you.

Zantac Lawsuit Claims Distribution By States & Cities (Estimated) - 2021

State Percentage of Estimated Claims Submitted Main Cities Claims Came From
Alabama (AL) 0.61%
Alaska (AK) 0.33% Anchorage
Arizona (AZ) 2.10% Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Tucson
Arkansas (AR) 1.59% Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs
California (CA) 8.35% San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, Riverside
Colorado (CO) 2.01% Denver
Connecticut (CT) 0.89%
Delaware (DE) 0.47%
District of Columbia (DC) 3.50% Washington, DC
Florida (FL) 10.26% Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Spring Hill
Georgia (GA) 5.22% Atlanta, Athens, Augusta
Hawaii (HI) 0.37%
Idaho (ID) 0.23%
Illinois (IL) 3.36% Chicago, Rockford
Indiana (IN) 1.12% Indianapolis
Iowa (IA) 0.65% Des Moines
Kansas (KS) 1.03%
Kentucky (KY) 1.26% Lexington
Louisiana (LA) 1.35% New Orleans, Lafayette
Maine (ME) 0.05%
Maryland (MD) 0.98%
Massachusetts (MA) 1.59% Boston
Michigan (MI) 0.47% Bloomfield
Minnesota (MN) 2.05% Minneapolis, Saint Paul
Mississippi (MS) 1.59% Jackson
Missouri (MO) 2.05% St. Louis, Kansas City
Montana (MT) 0.19%
Nebraska (NE) 0.42%
Nevada (NV) 1.96% Las Vegas
New Hampshire (NH) 0.47%
New Jersey (NJ) 1.77%
New Mexico (NM) 0.75% Albuquerque
New York (NY) 5.13% New York, Syracuse, Buffalo
North Carolina (NC) 4.52% Charlotte, Raleigh
North Dakota (ND) 0.05%
Ohio (OH) 3.40% Columbus, Toledo
Oklahoma (OK) 1.54% Oklahoma City, Tulsa
Oregon (OR) 1.45% Portland
Pennsylvania (PA) 4.38% Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Rhode Island (RI) 0.23%
South Carolina (SC) 2.15% Myrtle Beach
South Dakota (SD) 0.23% Sioux Falls
Tennessee (TN) 0.75% Nashville, Memphis
Texas (TX) 9.51% Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin
Utah (UT) 0.89% Salt Lake City
Vermont (VT) 0.09%
Virginia (VA) 0.33%
Washington State (WA) 2.19% Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma
West Virginia (WV) 0.47%
Wisconsin (WI) 3.64% Milwaukee, Madison, Rhinelander
Wyoming (WY) 0.05%

Zantac Lawsuit FAQ's

When was Zantac Introduced?

The generic drug ranitidine and Zantac were both introduced in the United states in 1981 as a prescription and over the counter drugs. When the drug was first introduced it was aggressively promoted to both doctors and the general public and Zantac went on to become one of the best-selling drugs in pharmaceutical history.

Why Was Zantac Recalled?

The FDA along with two other private labs using FDA approved testing has found that over time the chemical NDMA rises in the drug ranitidine (the main drug used in Zantac) to dangerous levels that are not safe for the human body. One study in 2019 saw the FDA, and its European counterparts, cite “unacceptable” levels of NDMA in Zantac. Voluntary removals of the drug were overseen in the United States in 2019, but the FDA doubled down on its call for withdrawal in April 2020

Who Is Impacted by this Case?

Anyone who has used Zantac on a regular basis for any extended period of time would be impacted by this. Individuals who have also been diagnosed with cancer should check for eligibility. Zantac is one of the most common drugs used to treat heartburn. And, with an estimated 60 million Americans suffering symptoms of heartburn each month, you can gather that there could be a large number of plaintiffs in cases against Zantac’s producers.

What Zantac Settlement will be awarded?

The Zantac Cancer lawsuits are still in the early stages. Events like the Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed down the passage of the cases through the courts, but the cases are still going forward at a good pace. In terms of potential Zantac payouts,  Big Pharma companies connected to Zantac may choose to offer a settlement instead of going through with a trial . A successful case brought by plaintiffs claiming Zantac caused cancer could result in multi-billion-dollar payouts from pharmaceutical companies.

Who Is Most At Risk?

There are potentially millions of people affected by this product. This case has such a high reach because Zantac was a very popular and easily accessible drug. Millions of Americans have been using Zantac and its generic equivalents daily for years to reduce acid reflux. It has been available both over the counter and by prescription.

However those diagnosed with specific types of cancer that are closely linked to NDMA will have a more direct impact.

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer and used ZANTAC (Ranitidine) regularly, you may be entitled to compensation

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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