Zantac, a popular antacid, is no longer available to consumers after concerns over the safety of the drug’s ingredients. Once available both in prescription and over-the-counter dosages, Zantac is now believed to cause various types of cancer.
If you suffer from a condition linked to Zantac or if you lost a loved one to a Zantac-related disease, you may qualify for financial compensation. A personal injury lawyer with Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you seek justice.
The FDA Requested the Removal of Zantac from the Market in 2020
Per Reuters, Zantac (a brand-name version of the drug ranitidine) received approval for use in the United States in 1983. For decades, the antacid was widely prescribed and purchased over-the-counter (OTC) to treat indigestion, heartburn, gastric ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
However, in April 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued an official request to manufacturers for the removal of Zantac and all other generic ranitidine drugs from the market. The FDA also asked retailers to pull Zantac from shelves and advised consumers to dispose of ranitidine medications in their homes.
Note that another OTC form of Zantac, called Zantac360, is currently available for purchase. This medication does not contain ranitidine and instead uses the active ingredient famotidine. You can no longer get a prescription for Zantac.
Zantac Contained Dangerously High Levels of a Cancer-Causing Substance
The FDA issued its request for the removal of Zantac due to concerns over harmful levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine. The FDA identifies NDMA as a carcinogen and states that independent and agency-conducted studies found the substance in Zantac.
According to the FDA, humans commonly ingest small amounts of NDMA in food and water, and trace amounts of the impurity are not connected to increased cancer risk. However, the NDMA contained in Zantac can increase to unacceptable and dangerous levels over time, especially when stored at higher temperatures. The FDA has yet to determine how NDMA came to be in ranitidine.
Medical Conditions Connected to Zantac
The medical journal, Cancers, reports that dietary exposure to NDMA is believed to cause several different gastrointestinal cancers, including:
- Liver cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, liver cancer often goes undetected in the early stages. However, once symptoms appear, sufferers may experience loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and fatigue. Treatments for liver cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, organ transplant, and palliative care.
- Esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer affects the esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, chest pain, weight loss, and persistent hoarseness or coughing.
- Pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer, like liver cancer, does not cause symptoms immediately, meaning it is often undiagnosed until the late stages. According to MedlinePlus, pancreatic cancer also spreads quickly and can be difficult to treat. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, pain in the back and abdomen, and yellowing eyes and skin.
- Stomach (gastric) cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, stomach cancers often develop slowly over many years and rarely cause early symptoms. Those affected may experience vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, indigestion, and fatigue. Sufferers may need chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
- Colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer affects the colon (large intestine) and rectum. Symptoms include persistent changes in bowel movements, bloody stools, persistent abdominal discomfort, fatigue, and weakness.
In addition to cancer, Drugwatch reports that Zantac is also linked to a rare lung disease called Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) and Crohn’s disease, a serious and long-term digestive condition.
If You Took Zantac and Have Symptoms, Seek Treatment
Many cancers associated with Zantac do not present symptoms during the early stages. If you were prescribed Zantac or took OTC medications containing ranitidine, seek medical treatment if you have any signs or symptoms of a gastrointestinal cancer or other related condition.
Seeing a doctor regarding potential Zantac-related symptoms could be vital for your health. It also creates a medical record for any legal action you may take. If you receive a diagnosis for a condition related to the drug, you may qualify for compensation for your medical expenses and other losses.
A Zantac Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation
If you or your loved one have cancer or another illness caused by Zantac, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the drug’s manufacturer and other companies involved with its creation and distribution. A personal injury attorney with Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you pursue:
- Medical expenses. You can seek the cost of all medical treatments resulting from your condition, including medications, medical procedures, hospitalizations, doctor and specialist visits, in-home health care, and long-term nursing services.
- Lost wages. We can recover the income lost due to your cancer or illness. If your condition prevents you from working, we can pursue awards for your reduced earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. You may qualify for financial awards for your physical pain, mental anguish, emotional suffering, and lost quality of life.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one passed away because of an illness caused by Zantac, we can help you pursue wrongful death compensation, including awards for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
How Long Do You Have to Take Action?
Our attorneys can file your Zantac lawsuit in Texas before the statute of limitations expires. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.012 generally allows two years to sue for product liability; however, the statute of repose may allow up to 15 years. We can tell you more about how these deadlines may affect your case.
Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins to Learn More About Zantac and Your Legal Options
Loncar Lyon Jenkins has helped Texans seek justice since 1988. Every year, we assist thousands of clients with recovering the compensation they need and deserve. If you or your loved one suffered harm because of prescription or OTC Zantac, we can fight for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services with a free, no-obligation consultation.