Zantac, a common brand of ranitidine, is a medication available both by prescription and over the counter. It is regularly used to treat and prevent heartburn, but has also been widely prescribed to treat the following medical conditions:
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Peptic ulcers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
In general, Zantac is used to treat a wide variety of digestive conditions caused by an excess of acid in the stomach. It belongs to a group of drugs known as “histamine-2 blockers” or “H2 blockers” for short. These drugs block the amount of acid produced by the cells in the stomach in order to treat heartburn or other digestive issues. Because it is so effective for so many people, it has become one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the country.
FDA Warns of Potential Risks Associated with Zantac: How A Georgia Zantac Attorney Can Help
In September of 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that Zantac and other ranitidine products contained a chemical that is believed to cause cancer. This carcinogenic compound, NDMA (nitrosodimethylamine), was found to be present in these drugs at levels far exceeding the FDA daily limit of 100 nanograms. A single 150 mg Zantac pill contains up to 2.5 million nanograms of NDMA, while 300 mg prescription strength Zantac can contain twice that amount. Overall, the amount of NDMA present in Zantac was found to be between 3,000 and 26,000 times higher than the limits recommended by the FDA.
It is important to note the FDA did not immediately recall Zantac following its warning. In April of 2020, it requested manufacturers, retailers, and other providers voluntarily halt the sale and distribution of the drug. Many pharmacies such as Rite Aid and CVS complied with the FDA’s request.
As a result of these findings and the FDA’s actions, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed across the country due to illnesses the claimants believe were caused by taking Zantac. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and have been taking Zantac, our Georgia Zantac attorneys can evaluate your potential claim.
The Link Between Cancer and Zantac
NDMA has been shown in various studies to be highly toxic to liver cells. Prolonged exposure by way of long-term use of Zantac and other ranitidine products is believed by many medical professionals to cause the following illnesses:
- Stomach cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver scarring
- Liver fibrosis
- Tumors on the kidneys, lungs, and liver
The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled NDMA as a clearly carcinogenic chemical. Unfortunately, the FDA has not gone as far but continues to actively investigate the causal connection between cancer and the NDMA found in Zantac.
Because the FDA has not ordered a mandatory recall of Zantac or definitively stated that there is a significant risk it causes cancer, making a claim can be difficult, especially for non-lawyers. However, a Georgia Zantac attorney can help you navigate the process if you have suffered any of the illnesses listed above.
Why Should You Speak to a Georgia Zantac Lawyer?
The manufacturers of Zantac, Boehringer Ingelheim, GSK, and Sanofi, are all global pharmaceutical companies with considerable resources devoted to defending against claims. In other words, these drug manufacturers are likely to aggressively defend themselves against any claim that exposes them to liability. If they do entertain any settlement offers, they will attempt to settle your claim for far less than it is actually worth.
Lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies are complex and technical. As a result, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced attorney before taking any action. A knowledgeable Georgia Zantac lawyer will review your case, gather and evaluate the evidence, and then begin formulating a legal strategy. Before filing a lawsuit, it is very likely that they will first issue a formal demand to the pharmaceutical company demanding compensation for your illness and providing the basis for your claim.
If the pharmaceutical company does not respond or refuses to accept responsibility, the next step is to file the lawsuit. The legal process is very complicated and difficult for non-lawyers to navigate. A simple procedural mistake can jeopardize your claim – how you proceed can be just as important to your success as the substance of your claim itself. A seasoned Georgia Zantac attorney will know how to proceed through the court system so as to minimize delays and position you for a positive outcome. This requires competent use of the discovery process and effective motions practice.
Why the Manufacturers May Be Held Liable for Your Illness in Georgia
Generally speaking, there are two reasons why the manufacturer’s of Zantac may be held liable for your illness:
- The makers of Zantac knew of the cancer risk due to the presence of NDMA and failed to disclose that risk to doctors and consumers. Had they disclosed this risk, doctors and patients may have chosen a different, safer medication.
- The design of Zantac renders the medication defective. It is believed that molecules convert into NDMA during the digestive process when someone takes Zantac.
Either of these reasons could result in liability for your illness. It’s important to note that you do not necessarily need to prove both that the makers failed to disclose the risk or that the design was defective – either one is sufficient to trigger liability. The reality, however, is that the manufacturers likely became aware of the risk at some point and then failed to disclose the risk because it was caused by the drug’s defective design.