How does Zantac Lead to Bladder Cancer?

Zantac, a medication used to treat heartburn in patients, has been recalled from shelves because manufacturers were using NDMA, a known carcinogen linked to the development of multiple types of cancers, in the manufacturing process. Pharmacies and drugstores have since been ordered to remove the drug from the shelves and it is suggested by the Food and Drug Administration that those who were taking the medication cease immediately and speak to their doctor about possible alternatives.

NDMA Effect on the Body

There are many ways in which the harmful substance N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) can affect the health of those who come into prolonged or heightened contact with it. The Environmental Protection Agency released a fact sheet outlining the side effects you can experience as a result of high levels of NDMA in your body. These include:

  • Headache
  • Fever

  • Nause

  • Jaundice

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal cramps

  • An enlarged liver

  • Reduced function of the liver, kidneys, and lungs

  • Dizziness

The harmful substance particularly targets the liver, but can do lasting damage all over your body.


How do I know it’s because of the NDMA?

Multiple studies by organizations across the world have been conducted that link the prolonged consumption of the drug additive and the development of cancer. Many of these studies were conducted on animals so it is hard to know the exact amounts a human has to come in contact with, and over what period of time, to be at a high risk of developing any type of cancer.


NDMA and Bladder cancer

In addition to the more general studies conducted on the drug and its links to cancer, there have been more specific ones that aim to link it to certain types of cancer, one of those being bladder cancer. This correlation goes back as far as 2004, when a study was released by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health that concluded that there was a correlation. Their experiment lasted 14 years.

A 2011 study conducted in Canada concluded that not only was there a strong enough link between the medication and bladder cancer, but that there was also a similar link between Zantac and leukemia. They studied the carcinogenicity of NDMA, and reported sufficient evidence to back up their hypothesis that there was an “existence of a causal connection between bladder cancer and the presence of aromatic amines.” (Carrier, et. al., 2011)

In the wake of the revelation that Zantac included NDMA as an ingredient, a man named Joseph John Balistreri from California filed a lawsuit claiming that his use of Zantac was a direct cause of his bladder cancer. He claimed that if he had been made aware of the possible side effects he would not have taken the medication. He is one of many lawsuits that are expected to be filed in the wake of the news.


Schedule a Consultation with an Attorney Today

If you are diagnosed with cancer while taking Zantac, there may be a correlation between your medication and your diagnosis. Talk to your doctor about possible alternative medications and if you believe there to be a connection between your diagnosis and long-term intake of the medication, contact a personal injury lawyer from Kwartler Manus to discuss possible legal next steps. Contact us online or by phone at 267-214-8608 to schedule a consultation.

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