In April 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked for the recall of all ranitidine. Zantac, the popular over-the-counter drug used for stomach ulcers, heartburn, and acid reflux, was recalled due to contamination of ranitidine with the cancer-causing chemical, NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine).
The FDA stated that while laboratory testing only revealed low concentrations of the cancer-causing chemical in drugs, prolonged storage and heat can cause a higher and possibly dangerous concentration of NDMA. As a result, there are currently no over-the-counter or prescription drugs containing ranitidine available in the United States.
The Dangers of NDMA
NDMA is a yellow liquid that can form naturally as well as unintentionally through industrial processes. We are all exposed to NDMA in our environment, and through the food we eat. NDMA can occur in soil, air, and water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the list of products and substances that can expose us to NDMA is long and includes:
- Tobacco smoke
- Chewing tobacco
- Cured meats
- Toiletry and cosmetic products
- Car air conditioning
NDMA can be found in many other products, and we can risk exposure to the dangerous chemical in many ways, including work environments. However, we are usually only exposed to small concentrations of NDMA in our daily lives.
According to the CDC, NDMA, when ingested in high concentrations, is toxic to the liver of animals and humans. Exposure to extremely high concentrations of NDMA has caused deaths from internal bleeding and severe liver damage.
NDMA has been declared a carcinogenic chemical for animals and a “probable carcinogenic” substance for humans. Tests have shown that rodents who drank and breathed in NDMA over a few weeks developed various cancers and non-cancerous liver damage. NDMA also has the potential to harm and kill unborn life.
Large scale research on humans is still outstanding, but the CDC states that it is “reasonable to expect that exposure to NDMA by eating, drinking, or
breathing could cause cancer in humans.”
NDMA in Heartburn Drugs
The FDA found that NDMA was present in both the finished drug product samples, as well as in the active pharmaceutical ingredients of ranitidine, with concentrations increasing over time.
The Risk of Developing Cancers from Ranitidine
Although the FDA does not expect there to be much of a cancer risk from low levels of NDMA in medicines, its presence may increase the risk of cancer in patients who were exposed to NDMA in higher concentrations and over long time. periods
While consumers who took Zantac for a short period may be unlikely to suffer from any ill effects, many questions remain over the concentration of NDMA in ranitidine. Zantac and similar drugs have been on the market for decades. Consumers could easily purchase ranitidine over-the-counter and were told that these medications are safe. Now, consumers who have been taking Zantac and similar drugs find out that they could be at risk for cancers and other health problems.
NDMA might increase the risk of getting cancers of the esophagus, lungs, liver, stomach, and others. If you have taken Zantac, or similar drugs containing ranitidine, for a long time, you may wish to consult with your primary physician. It can also be important for you to get check-ups right away when experiencing any cancer symptoms.
The FDA has not only recalled all ranitidine, but also recommends that you stop using this drug after speaking with your physician and determining that it is safe for you to do so. There are other stomach acid-reducing drugs on the market that do not contain ranitidine, and your doctor can advise you on the best options for your health condition.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Work for You
If you have taken Zantac for years and have suffered from cancer, you might have a personal injury case. You could potentially hold the manufacturer of Zantac and other parties to account for your losses.
Drug manufacturers should not get away with putting profits over the health and safety of consumers. You may be able to file a product liability personal injury lawsuit that could potentially compensate you for medical bills and other expenses related to your illness and any pain and suffering you experienced.
We can help you with all aspects of building a drug-related product liability case and do not shy away from holding big corporations to account for negligence. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now and find out how you could receive compensation at (800) 794-0444.