The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is working to figure out how NDMA got into Zantac. Studies suggest that time and high temperatures can allow NDMA levels to rise to unsafe levels. FDA testing confirmed that levels of NDMA in ranitidine can increase even in normal storage conditions, and that the levels can increase significantly at higher temperatures. Ranitidine may be exposed to heat while it is being transported for distribution and when consumers handle the medication.
In tests the FDA conducted, NDMA was found in both the finished medication and its active pharmaceutical ingredients. Tests that simulated conditions in the digestive system demonstrated that NDMA did not form as Zantac was broken down in the body.
The Uses of Zantac
According to the FDA, Zantac, which is also known by its generic name, ranitidine, is a histamine-2 blocker that reduces the amount of acid the stomach produces. Histamine-2 blockers (also known as H2 blockers) can address symptoms that antacids and proton pump inhibitor drugs can also relieve, but H2 blockers use a different mechanism for relief.
The drug can be used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and other conditions. USA Today reported that Zantac was approved in 1984, and millions of people around the world have been prescribed the medication or have bought it over the counter.
The Dangers of NDMA
Nitrosamines are chemicals that can show up in common food items, and it can occur naturally. Grilled and cured meats and even vegetables are some items that have these chemicals. These chemicals can, however, form in unnatural circumstances due to manufacturing.
Nitrosamines may be present in medications because of a drug’s chemical structure, the manufacturing process, and storage and packaging conditions. They can also form as the human body processes food and drugs. Everyone is exposed to nitrosamines to some degree.
Nitrosamine impurities can increase cancer risk if people are exposed to higher than acceptable levels for long periods of time. The FDA and other organizations have set internationally recognized acceptable daily limits for nitrosamine intake.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NDMA is an unintentional byproduct of some industrial manufacturing processes. NDMA was only recently detected in Zantac. Apparently, the way NDMA got into Zantac was not through a manufacturing process, but rather was due to Zantac’s unstable nature.
Based on the results of laboratory tests, NDMA has been classified as a potential human carcinogen, or a substance that can cause cancer. Studies on small animals like mice have resulted in cancers and death, which can indicate the potential for cancer in humans. Colorectal and gastric cancers are also potential results of exposure to larger amounts of NDMA. In addition, Healthline has reported that NDMA can cause severe liver damage and internal bleeding. Even exposure to small amounts of NDMA can lead to liver damage.
If you used ranitidine, you can speak to your physician to see what your other options are for acid reflux relief. You can try other H2 blockers or other classes of medicines that help with the pain caused by acid reflux, ulcers, and other problems caused by stomach acid. You may even need to adjust your diet while taking medication to avoid the painful symptoms of acid reflux.
A Drug Injury Lawyer Can Help You Seek Financial Compensation for Injuries From Zantac
Consumers expect the medications they take to be safe, yet often drugs that are supposed to make people healthier actually cause a variety of health problems, some of which may be life-threatening. Many common drugs that were prescribed or sold over the counter for years, such as Zantac, have been found to be unsafe.
If you are suffering from cancer and it was caused by Zantac or another ranitidine product, you should not have to seek justice alone. Our firm has represented other personal injury cases to help individuals and families receive compensation for negligence. Our attorneys can help you seek a fair financial settlement for your physical injuries, medical treatments, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and other expenses related to Zantac.
Even if you are worried about the costs of legal representation, you can call our office as our team works on a contingency fee basis. Our pay will come from a successful case and the compensation awarded. If you were injured by Zantac, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss how we may be able to help you.