Zantac was introduced in 1983, as the first of a new type of medications: histamine H2-receptor antagonists (“H2 blockers”). Since then, it has been widely marketed as treatment for acid reflux related disorders.
Ranitidine is the active ingredient in Zantac. A chemical reaction can occur when ranitidine is exposed to heat, such as those occurring in a human body. Zantac tablets can also be subject to high heat while in transport or in a number of situations once it is in the possession of the consumer. The chemical reaction can produce the chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”).
NDMA is a known carcinogen capable of creating serious damage in a very short time. After only a few months of exposure, an individual can develop cancer. Prolonged exposure to NDMA may result in cancer of the stomach, liver, bladder, small Intestine, esophagus, prostate gland, kidney, or pancreas. Other types of cancer may also result from exposure, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia.
The carcinogenic nature of NDMA has been known for many decades. Drug manufacturers knew, or reasonably should have known, that ranitidine could transform into NDMA under conditions it would reasonably be expected to encounter. Given the clear link between NDMA and Zantac, manufacturers should have warned users of the risk and notified the medical community of the consequences of using the medication.
On September 13, 2019, the FDA acknowledged that NMDA was found in Zantac. In response, major retail pharmacies, such as Walgreens and CVS took all medications containing ranitidine, including Zantac, off the shelf. Further, drug manufacturers Apotex and Sandoz have recalled all of their ranitidine containing medications in the United States. Presently, the FDA is continuing to review the medication and the extent of the danger posed by Zantac and its generic counterparts.
If you or a loved one have developed cancer after taking Zantac or a generic equivalent, contact one of the experienced dangerous drug attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation.