The FDA is investigating the link between Zantac, a popular medication for acid reflux, and NDMA, a carcinogen related to many types of cancer. If you’ve taken Zantac or its generic ranitidine, you may be affected.
What is Zantac?
Zantac is a popular acid reflux medicine that’s been on the market since 1981. Available by prescription or over the counter, Zantac or the generic for Zantac, ranitidine, are commonly used to treat heartburn, GERD, ulcers, and other issues related to stomach acid and indigestion. Zantac is now the 50th most prescribed medication in the United States and is manufactured by several companies including Sanofi, Boehringer Ingleham, and Sandoz.
Is there a recall on Zantac?
The FDA hasn’t issued an official mandatory Zantac pills recall. Several manufacturers and stores have chosen to pull the product from shelves as the Zantac cancer risk is investigated.
FACT CHECK: Does Zantac cause cancer?
Right now, the answer is “maybe.” In September 2019, the FDA issued an advisory warning informing the public that the carcinogen nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”), was discovered in ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac. NDMA is a common chemical byproduct that can be found anywhere from rocket fuel to smoked meats.
The FDA has classified the contamination as “low,” conversely the levels of NDMA that have been detected in Zantac 150 mg doses are currently between 3,000 and 26,000 times higher than the levels the FDA characterizes as “safe.”
Because the FDA is still actively investigating the link between Zantac and cancer, it’s important for consumers to follow this issue and monitor their own health for adverse ranitidine side effects.
Timeline of NDMA contamination and ranitidine recalls
September 13, 2019: FDA issues advisory about NDMA contamination in Zantac and generic ranitidine. That same day, the plaintiffs filed the first lawsuit in California accusing manufacturers of failing to disclose this risk to patients.
September 23-25, 2019: Two manufacturers of generic zantac, Sandoz Inc. and Apotex Corp., voluntarily recall the pills after discovering the NDMA impurity.
October 23-25, 2019: Manufacturer Sanofi chooses to recall all OTC Zantac containing NDMA. Several manufacturers and stores follow suit, voluntarily recalling ranitidine in all forms, including Novitium Pharma, Lannett Company, Inc., Perrigo Company, Dr. Reddy’s, Walgreens, and Kroger.
November 2019: The FDA recommends manufacturers voluntarily issue a Zantac 150 mg recall that includes any medications with NDMA levels that test above the acceptable daily limit, as concerns rise about ranitidine cancer.
November 8-15, 2019: More manufacturer recalls related to NDMA follow, including American Health Packaging, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Golden State Medical Supply, Precision Dose, Aurobindo, and DG Health
December 4, 2019: The FDA recommends additional testing of ranitidine interactions and NDMA.
December 18, 2019: Glenmark Pharmaceutical Inc. voluntarily recalls its ranitidine pills that contained increased levels of NDMA
What are the long term side effects of Zantac?
Some of the more well-known side effects of Zantac include stomach pain, dizziness, and headaches. However, since the discovery of NDMA contamination in Zantac pills, more alarming side effects are coming to light.
Short term effects of overexposure to the carcinogenic NDMA include:
- Vomiting and stomach cramps
- Reduced function of the liver, kidneys, and lungs
- Liver damage (liver fibrosis, scarring, or enlargement)
Over time, long term effects of NDMA exposure may include:
- Increased risk of tumors in liver, kidney, and lungs
- Increased risk of cancer of the stomach, bladder, colon, esophagus, intestines, kidneys, liver, ovaries, pancreas, testicals, or uterus
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Disorders of the nervous system
- Increased risk of pneumonia
- Liver failure, hepatitis, jaundice
- Skin rashes and hair loss
FACT CHECK: Can Zantac affect your heart?
The FDA is currently investigating Zantac side effects related to NDMA exposure. Patients have reported irregular or rapid heartbeats after repeated use of Zantac pills.
Have you developed adverse side effects after taking Zantac or ranitidine?
Those who may be eligible for a Zantac lawsuit should contact us for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency-fee basis.
Have you or a loved one has experienced complications after receiving taking Zantac? You may be eligible to file a claim for medical costs, emotional distress and further damages. Fill out our free case evaluation form to see if you are eligible for a potential Zantac lawsuit. An experienced attorney at Morris Bart will assist you in the evaluation process. Initial consultations are free. Click here to see more about our office locations throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Contact us today!