A doctor or scientist cannot give you a definitive probability regarding your chances of getting cancer from Zantac. However, most research suggests that the more of the contaminant NDMA that you are exposed to and at greater frequency, the higher your chances of getting cancer from Zantac.
Not everyone who took Zantac will develop cancer as a result of taking the medication. Most cases are associated with patients who took the medication more frequently or in higher doses. Furthermore, cancer is not associated with the active ingredients in Zantac, but rather a naturally occurring contaminant called NDMA. There are other medications that contain trace amounts of NDMA that could contribute to cancer risk levels.
The National Cancer Institute clarifies that Zantac is just the brand name used in the United States for a drug called ranitidine hydrochloride. Ranitidine is thought to be linked to these kinds of cancer:
- Bladder cancer: Bladder cancer can develop in the bladder from exposure to ranitidine. Ranitidine can linger in the bladder as before the body expels the urine. Researchers found that urine can contain high concentrations of it after taking Zantac.
- Stomach cancer: Since digestion begins in the stomach, it often sees the highest concentration of ranitidine. The mucus lining of the stomach should protect it, but it can be eroded over time to expose the tissue to ranitidine.
- Intestinal cancer: The intestines are also exposed to NDMA in ranitidine and may develop cancer as a result. This can happen to either the small intestine or the large intestine.
- Liver cancer: The liver helps process chemicals out of the body, including NDMA. The resulting exposure can lead to cancer and other liver problems.
- Pancreatic cancer: Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that affects the pancreas.
- Kidney cancer: Kidneys also help purify body fluids, which exposes them to NDMA.
- Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is typically found in men, as genetic males are the only ones with prostates.
- Colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer is cancer found in the colon or rectum. They are closely connected and many people use the term to refer to either cancer, although treatment can differ if the cancer is in the colon or the rectum.
Other forms of cancer aside from those detailed on this list are possible. Many of the cancers associated with Zantac are thought to be of a gastrointestinal nature. However, exposure to a carcinogen raises your overall cancer risk.
Other Injuries From Zantac
The FDA is currently recommending that Americans avoid taking ranitidine in all forms, at least until there is more research done into the safety risks. However, there are other injuries that could be linked to Zantac usage. According to the National Institutes of Health, some cases of liver fibrosis and scarring (cirrhosis) are also associated with Zantac. If you have any questions about the safety of a medication, it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with your pharmacist or doctor.
It is nearly impossible to understand the full scope of the injuries caused by Zantac or its generic or prescription counterparts. Because the cancers believed to be caused by Zantac are often diagnosed years, if not decades, after patients have taken the medication, many were unaware that their cancer risk was higher by taking Zantac. In fact, patients may have taken Zantac for years without realizing that it contributed to their bladder or stomach cancer.
When to Seek Legal Action
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, it is possible that you may have a legal case. You can consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.
With Zantac, there are class-action lawsuits against the company manufacturing the drug. There are also opportunities for individual cases. Your lawyer will have this information and can give you guidance on how to move forward.
If your Zantac use was infrequent or rare, it may be incredibly difficult to prove that Zantac contributed to your cancer. If you believe your regular use of Zantac or another ranitidine-based drug contributed to your cancer, a lawyer can gather proof of this regular use in order to build your case. Even if you do not have access to this evidence, you can still talk over your concerns and questions with a personal injury lawyer to see what options you may have.
Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have a cancer diagnosis after taking Zantac or other medications that contain ranitidine, you may be entitled to compensation related to your injuries. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to schedule an appointment to learn more about your options. You may be able to seek compensation to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.