NDMA is an organic compound, scientifically known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine. It is a dangerous substance that has been known to cause harm in both humans and animals. NDMA can be found in prescription medications such as ranitidine, used to treat acid reflux disease. This particular drug was recalled by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration due to the presence of NDMA, which can potentially cause cancer, especially in large quantities.
How NDMA Can Be Dangerous to Your Health
NDMA could be dangerous to your health because this compound is suspected of being a carcinogen in human beings. That means exposure to NDMA could cause various types of cancers in humans over time. NDMA is thought to modify DNA, and this modification can cause unwanted cellular reproduction, which is the basis of cancer. Understanding what NDMA is and where it is found will help you determine if you were exposed to this substance, and if so, to monitor your health. Additionally, if you were prescribed a medication containing NDMA, you could be eligible to take legal action.
Presence of NDMA in Medication
NDMA can occur both naturally and through industrial processes, such as the composition of prescription medications. The presence of NDMA has been discovered as an impurity in one common prescription medication called ranitidine. Ranitidine is known commercially as Zantac and was frequently prescribed to people suffering from acid reflux disease.
Acid reflux disease is relatively common. Johns Hopkins Hospital and Homestead Hospital referenced one study that estimated as many as 20% of adults suffer from a form of acid reflux disease. Due to the prevalence of this condition, the amount of people who were prescribed Zantac and potentially exposed to NDMA is significant. Dangerous levels of NDMA have been detected if Zantac is stored at an unsafe temperature for too long. The possible dangers of NDMA caused the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, a federal agency, issued a full recall of all medications that could contain this carcinogen. While this recall was initially voluntary, the severity increased over time and eventually resulted in a request to remove all products containing ranitidine from the market.
What to Do if You Were Exposed to NDMA
If you are unsure whether or not you were exposed to NDMA, you should consult the opinion of a medical professional. A doctor or pharmacist can review your prescription and over-the-counter medication use and determine whether or not you may have been exposed. Additionally, a medical professional can help you learn about the potential risks of NDMA exposure and monitor your health for problems over time.
You may also have legal options available to you. Someone else could be liable for putting your health in danger. If a doctor prescribed a medication containing ranitidine, perhaps after the recall was issued, or if a pharmacy failed to pull ranitidine from the shelves in time, they could be partially at fault. Perhaps a pharmacy did not store their products safely, increasing the chance of an NDMA impurity in their medications.
There are several ways in which other parties could have contributed to your exposure to NDMA. This is a serious threat to your health. You could be wondering if there are legal options available to you. In some cases, victims of exposure to NDMA through ranitidine may be eligible for financial compensation. This could come in the form of reimbursement for past, current, and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages for responsible parties.
When you go to the doctor to get medical help because you have a condition like acid reflux disease, you are trusting trained medical professionals to help you. If you were prescribed a medication like Zantac, containing ranitidine and dangerous trace substances like NDMA, you could instead be subject to long-term health issues like cancer. This is not acceptable and can be tragic for you and your family. You deserve justice. Speaking with a lawyer can help you understand your options.
Getting Legal Help
If you or someone you love may have been exposed to NDMA, or was prescribed a medication like ranitidine containing NDMA, your health could be at risk. This could be a very difficult time of uncertainty. You can do your research to fully understand what NDMA is and seek medical attention, but it is also important to understand your legal options. In some cases, exposure to NDMA could be grounds for legal action resulting in financial compensation for victims. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to discuss your case if you are considering your legal options. Call (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation with a team member today.