Cancer medicine with a woman in hospital bed

The Link between Zantac (Ranitidine) and Cancer Risks

Zantac and other drugs made with the compound Ranitidine have recently been found to contain unsafe levels of the known carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylanmine (NDMA). These test results were reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2019, and manufacturers recalled the drug starting in October. However, Zantac was introduced to the market in the 1980s as a purportedly safe treatment for heartburn, acid reflux, and other gastric upset. Many people had been using Ranitidine for years, even decades before the recall was announced and may have developed cancer as a result of consistent consumption of these drugs.

NDMA can be produced by both natural and artificial methods and was formerly used in the production of rocket fuel, lubricant additives, and plastics. It is not currently produced or commercially used in the US, except for in laboratory research - its main use today is to induce tumor growth in experimental animals. NDMA has been thought of as a cancer risk for decades, as part of a family of known chemical carcinogens called N-nitrosamines. An article from the 1970s stated that “NDMA has caused cancer in nearly every laboratory animal tested so far.”

How did this dangerous chemical, NDMA, wind up in Zantac (Ranitidine)?

In 2018, a group of blood pressure medications was found to be contaminated with “trace levels” of NDMA due to errors in the manufacturing process, which led to an FDA recall. In contrast, testing shows that Zantac is not “contaminated” with the carcinogen but, in fact, breaks down in the body to form NDMA due to the instability of its chemical structure. NDMA is well-known to form by the reaction of DMA and a “nitroso” source, such as nitrate. With a highly reactive DMA group on one side of the Ranitidine molecule and a readily available nitrate on the other end, the Zantac compound essentially reacts with itself to degrade into NDMA.

Additional research shows that Ranitidine forms significant amounts of NDMA with nitrates present, which is extremely worrisome as Zantac has been specifically marketed to treat symptoms caused by foods with high nitrate levels. Tests were even done in simulated fluid that mimics the human GI tract, and they found that “when nitrates are present, staggeringly high levels of NDMA are found in one dose of 150 mg Zantac, ranging between 245 and 3,100 times above the FDA-allowable limit.”

Zantac and Cancer Diagnosis

Due to the fact that Zantac and similar drugs have been used (and considered safe) for over 35 years, as well as the fact that the drug itself turns into a carcinogen while in the body, it stands to reason that many regular Zantac users who have been diagnosed with cancer developed their cancer due to taking the drug. Many of these people are filing lawsuits against these manufacturers on several counts including Negligence, Strict Liability - Design Defect, and Strict Liability - Failure to warn. Their cases state that the drug companies were responsible for testing products and had a duty to report the true “character, quality, and nature” of the drug.

Zantac users who have been diagnosed with any of the following cancers may be eligible to receive compensation:

  • Stomach cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Esophageal/colorectal cancer

  • Bladder cancer

  • Kidney/renal cancer

  • Leukemia

  • Multiple Myeloma

  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Small intestine cancer

Cancer Lawsuits are Currently Being Filed Against the Manufacturers of Zantac (Ranitidine)

If you or a loved one has developed cancer after using Zantac (Ranitidine), you aren’t alone - our dedicated attorneys have experience representing clients in mass tort cases. By filing/joining a mass tort claim against Zantac, you may be able to get compensation for your damages and protect others from future threats. Our attorneys will be by your side to help you navigate this complex process with ease.

Don’t hesitate to pursue the compensation you deserve to make up for the pharmaceutical companies’ mistakes. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn your rights.


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