Laboratory tests have shown that NDMA is the substance in Zantac that may cause cancer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The World Health Organization has reported that high levels of NDMA may cause gastric or colorectal cancer. NDMA has also been linked to severe liver damage and internal bleeding. Even at low levels, NDMA may harm the liver.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nitrosamines, such as NDMA, are carcinogens that can be found in grilled and cured meats, vegetables, dairy products, and water, although not at high enough levels to be cause for concern. The human body can form nitrosamines when it breaks down food and drugs.
Nitrosamines are also found in some medications, including Zantac. They may be present due to a drug’s chemical composition, the process used to manufacture it, or the way the product is packaged or stored. People with exposure to nitrosamine impurities in medication over a long period of time may have an increased risk of developing cancer.
Why Zantac May Be Unsafe
Zantac and its generic counterpart, ranitidine, are histamine-2 blockers that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. Zantac can be used to treat several conditions, including heartburn, ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
The FDA performed tests that found NDMA in both the active pharmaceutical ingredients used to make Zantac and the finished product. According to the FDA, tests it conducted indicated that NDMA did not form in the digestive tract as the body broke down Zantac. The FDA is working to pinpoint the exact source of NDMA in the drug.
The FDA reported that the amount of NDMA in ranitidine products can increase over time, especially if medication is exposed to high temperatures, which can occur while it is being transported or while it is stored in people’s homes. This exposes consumers to levels of NDMA that may be unsafe. U.S. Food and Drug Administration testing confirmed that the level of NDMA in ranitidine can increase even if it is stored at normal conditions.
Action Taken by the FDA to Protect the Public From NDMA in Zantac
In April 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter medications containing ranitidine from the market immediately. The FDA recommended that people who were taking over-the-counter Zantac stop taking it, dispose of any leftover medication, and switch to a different drug without NDMA. Patients who were taking prescription Zantac were advised to talk to their doctor about whether they should continue to take it or switch to a different medication.
The FDA did not find unacceptably high levels of NDMA in samples of Zantac it tested. Health officials decided to pull the medication from shelves because of concern that levels of NDMA could rise due to storage conditions and put consumers at risk.
What to Do If You Think That NDMA in Zantac Caused Your Cancer
People take medications and expect them to be safe, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Numerous drugs that patients used for years were later found to be dangerous. Medications can cause a variety of serious, and even life-threatening, health problems. USA Today reported that although Zantac has been sold by prescription and over the counter for decades around the world, the presence of NDMA in the drug was only detected recently.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sometimes succumbs to pressure from pharmaceutical companies and fast-tracks the approval of new drugs. If medications are not rigorously tested to make sure they are safe before they go to market, the public may be put in danger.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has a team of personal injury attorneys who have represented thousands of clients since 1985, including people who suffered because of unsafe prescription and over-the-counter drugs. We can work to pursue a financial settlement to compensate you if NDMA in Zantac caused your cancer. We may be able to obtain a settlement to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the emotional distress you endured.
Our team has worked with victims across the United States. We collaborate with litigation firms across the country to serve our clients. We can travel to meet with you in person and discuss your case.
You may think that your family could not afford to hire a personal injury attorney, but that should not be a concern. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm operates on a contingency model. That means that we finance litigation costs ourselves, and we only collect a fee for our services if we recover a financial award on a client’s behalf. Call our office today at (800) 635-1144 to discuss your case with a member of our staff and to learn how we may be able to help you seek justice for the harm you suffered from NDMA in Zantac.