On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that manufacturers pull all over-the-counter and prescription ranitidine drugs, more commonly known under the brand name Zantac®, immediately from the market.
This news is the latest step in an ongoing investigation by the FDA, which found that levels of a probable carcinogen increase over time in the widely used heartburn medications, putting the health and safety of millions of consumers at risk.
Although we are enduring a moment of utter chaos and tragedy in global history as the COVID-19 health crisis rages on, our team at Phillip S. Georges, PLLC is glad to see the FDA continue to take action to protect individuals from the dangers of ranitidine medications.
In these times of uncertainty, it’s incredibly important to stay informed and know your options if you’ve been affected by this drug. Here’s what you need to know about the latest FDA studies, the risks to public health, and filing a Zantac® lawsuit.
Why Did the FDA Pull Zantac®?
The FDA has been investigating levels of the probable human carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, in ranitidine since the summer of 2019 when an independent lab study found low levels of the contaminant in ranitidine.
While low levels of NDMA don’t pose a great risk of cancer to humans, the FDA has now determined that NDMA levels in some ranitidine products increase over time, especially when stored at higher temperatures.
New FDA testing has, in fact, confirmed that NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions, but spike significantly in higher temperatures, such as those the product may be exposed to during distribution or in the hands of consumers.
Testing also showed that the older a ranitidine product is, the greater the level of NDMA.
“The FDA is committed to ensuring that the medicines Americans take are safe and effective. We make every effort to investigate potential health risks and provide our recommendations to the public based on the best available science. We didn’t observe unacceptable levels of NDMA in many of the samples that we tested. However, since we don’t know how or for how long the product might have been stored, we decided that it should not be available to consumers and patients unless its quality can be assured,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Has Zantac® Been Recalled?
In September of 2019, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, and Walgreens all announced that they would no longer sell over-the-counter ranitidine products, including Zantac®, due to the NDMA concerns.
Shortly after, Sanofi voluntarily recalled Zantac® OTC in the United States and Canada. At the time, the FDA warned the public of the potential health risks, but said it did not have enough scientific evidence to recommend halting the use of ranitidine medications.
Now, in light of the agency’s latest findings, the FDA has said that letters are being sent to all manufacturers of ranitidine requesting that all products be withdrawn from the market.
What Should I Do If I’m Taking Zantac®?
Many users of this household drug that’s prescribed more than 15 million times a year are understandably worried about what they should do now. If you or a loved one are currently taking any ranitidine tablets or liquid medications, the FDA has advised that you stop, dispose of them properly, and not buy more.
If you’d like to continue treating heartburn or acid reflux, it is recommended that you consider other over-the-counter options that do not carry the same risk or speak with your healthcare professional about other treatment options if you’re taking prescription ranitidine.
I Took Zantac® and Now Have Cancer. Can I File a Zantac® Lawsuit?
If you took Zantac® (ranitidine) and have since been diagnosed with cancer, you’re not alone and you may be able to take legal action.
Zantac® lawsuits are currently being filed across the nation, alleging that overexposure to levels of NDMA present in the heartburn drug caused users to develop cancer. What’s more, these lawsuits claim that ranitidine manufacturers, such as Sanofi, knew about the potential risk of cancer associated with the drugs but failed to warn the public.
Sadly, this happens all too often. When big drug manufacturers choose to put profits before people, it can devastate lives, taking mothers, fathers, family members, and friends away from their loved ones.
If you have lost a loved one or are suffering with a cancer diagnosis yourself after taking Zantac®, you may be entitled to money for the financial and emotional losses you’ve endured.
Don’t Leave Your Rights Up to Chance. Call The Wolf Pack™!
The deep-pocketed manufacturers of Zantac® undoubtedly have large legal teams on their side. If you believe you or a loved one has been injured by a ranitidine drug, don’t leave your legal rights up to chance.
Put The Wolf Pack™ at Phillip S. Georges, PLLC on YOUR side and even the playing field. We’re a local law firm with a national reputation for holding careless drug companies responsible for their actions.
The latest FDA announcement is a step in the right direction, but our mission is to help individuals who have been harmed by these dangerous drugs get the justice and compensation they deserve.