Published on January 23, 2020
If you have taken the popular acid-reducing medication Zantac to help with a variety of issues, including things like peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome, then you may be aware of an ongoing voluntary recall for the product. Zantac and other generic medications of the same compound, ranitidine, are being recalled by distributors such as Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, who are offering customers a refund for the product. In addition, a variety of pharmaceutical companies have discontinued the production of the medication until further notice.
If you have taken Zantac and are concerned about the possible cancer-causing issues associated with it, take a look below to learn more now. If you believe that you are in need of legal assistance in order to help you navigate this process, join a class-action lawsuit, or seek your own legal action against any number of producers, distributors, or prescribers, then contact the team at 1-800-Injured as soon as possible. We will be happy to connect you with an attorney who is ready and willing to take your case. Our network of personal injury lawyers are trustworthy and aggressive, and we are proud to connect our clients with such reputable legal professionals.
Read more below to learn about the ingredients in Zantac that cause cancer.
Why Is Zantac Being Recalled?
The recalls are in response to an FDA notice (and series of ongoing updates) that Connecticut-based online pharmacy Valisor had identified the presence of a contaminant known as NDMA, or N-nitrosodimethylamine. This contaminant is listed as a probable human carcinogen because it likely can cause cancer after long-term, high-dose exposure in humans. The dosages found in any testing of Zantac or the generic versions of the drug have been found to produce low levels of NDMA, which is why the FDA has yet to institute a mandatory recall of the drug.
When Zantac and ranitidine are being processed by the body, the compound has been shown to produce NDMA in low levels. The FDA suggests that any exposure to NDMA in excess of 96 nanograms per day or 0.32 parts per million for ranitidine is an unacceptable level, and could be potentially dangerous. They have additionally released a series of their own lab test results for a variety of pharmaceutical producers, and have encouraged producers to perform and submit their own lab results as well in order to provide a more comprehensive picture of the risks inherent with each product.
It is important to note here that neither Zantac or ranitidine are carcinogenic in nature. When heat is applied to the medication, it generates a byproduct of the impurity NDMA, or N-nitrosodimethylamine. It is this compound that is the cause for concern, but this is still an ongoing debate about whether or not the testing methods used in order to identify this concern were appropriate or not.
The essential issue around testing methods is that Valisor had heated the medication to a high temperature in order to produce dangerous levels of NDMA, temperatures that do not reflect the conditions present in the body as the medicine is being digested and metabolized. In fact, the FDA has stated that the levels of NDMA present in Zantac and ranitidine are “similar to the levels you would expect to be exposed to if you ate common foods like grilled or smoked meats.”
What Kind of Cancer Does Zantac and Ranitidine Cause?
Regardless of the debate around safe levels of exposure, NDMA is listed as a probable carcinogen, meaning that it is shown to increase the risk of certain cancers in humans. In this particular instance, the risks of cancer associated with Zantac, ranitidine, and NDMA are gastric, or stomach, cancers such as gastric adenocarcinoma or Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors. Again, the risk of these cancers is rare and is still up for debate in terms of exposure to levels of NDMA present in these medications.
In addition to stomach cancers, there are concerns that Zantac, ranitidine, and the associated presence of NDMA may also cause colorectal cancers or possible bladder cancers.
Again, it is important to understand that the risks of cancer associated with exposure to the levels of NDMA present in these medications are not currently found to be so serious that the FDA has instituted a mandatory ban and recall on the products. The levels found in testing results are similar to levels found in a variety of foods that humans eat on a daily basis with little known increase of cancer.
Contact Us Today
If you would like to understand more about your options if you are concerned about your exposure to NDMA due to use of any of these popular acid-reducing medications, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible for a free initial consultation. We will be able to connect you with an available attorney who can help you understand your rights and options as a consumer, and what the most appropriate steps forward are to ensure that you get the legal help you deserve.