Zantac: Heartburn Medication Recalled For Cancer
The popular heartburn medication Zantac has been recalled after several studies linked it to an increase in cancers. These studies prompted the FDA to request a removal of all Zantac products from the shelves that contained the active ingredient ranitidine. If you took Zantac, it is important to monitor your health closely for signs and symptoms of cancers. If you do receive a cancer diagnosis and you question whether Zantac use is to blame, it is important to contact a Zantac cancer lawyer immediately. Your attorney can help you take part in national multi-district litigation that is pending.
Who Are The Lawyers Behind This Website
I wrote everything you see on this website myself. Im not a an actor on a television commercial or someone in a call center, and this isnt one of those misleading websites that doesnt even tell you who is behind it. Im a real lawyer who has successfully tried serious injury and wrongful death cases in front of juries, and a five-time winner of the American Bar Association Journals award for legal writing online.
Ive represented thousands of people injured by prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Currently, I am appointed by a federal court to the plaintiffs steering committee of the litigation involving incretin mimetics and pancreatic cancer, and appointed by a different federal court as the liaison counsel in the litigation involving Mirena and intracranial hypertension. You can read more about me here.
If you use the contact form below, the email goes to me. If you call 459-8719, it will be answered by me or by my receptionist. But its not just about me. Taking on Goliath drug manufacturers means working together with other plaintiffs lawyers other law firms, and I work with the best in the business, the lawyers that can go through millions of documents to find the crucial evidence, and can hire and work with the best experts. Weve already been working with gastric oncologists, cancer epidemiologists, gastroenterologists, and gastric surgeons to develop the case.
When Do You Need To Hire A Zantac Cancer Lawyer
If you believe your cancer was caused by Zantac or ranitidine you may need the help of a Zantac Cancer Lawyer. In order to pursue your case, your Zantac lawyer will help you to prove 3 things:
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What Should I Do If I Take Zantac
In addition to recalling all Zantac and ranitidine drugs on store shelves, the FDA is advising patients who take these medications to stop and ask their doctor about alternative options for treating heartburn and other issues. The risk of cancer increases with cumulative exposure to NDMA.
So, if you have frequently take Zantac for heartburn, your best course is to contact your doctor to discuss alternative medications and other options for preventing and relieving heartburn. This is not a decision you should make by yourself, especially if you have been prescribed ranitidine for a chronic condition.
If your loved one takes Zantac or generic ranitidine and his or her drug regimen changes, it is important for you to be aware of this change. You may be able to provide helpful information to an attorney should your family member later develop cancer that may be attributable to Zantac.
Always visit your doctor if you experience new health issues or you suspect something is wrong. Cancers progress at different rates, so timely intervention is imperative.
Fda Heartburn Drug Cancer Warnings
Ranitidine, which includes Zantac and generic Zantac, was the subject of an FDA Zantac warning in late September of 2019. The FDA heartburn medicine warning came on the heels of a report that Zantac and generic Zantac contain NDMA, a chemical known to cause cancer. Multiple voluntary recalls followed the FDA Zantac warning, including a Zantac recall issued by Sanofi and many generic Zantac recalls from Apotex, Sandoz, and GlaxoSmithKline.
The FDA is conducting an ongoing investigation to determine the origins of the cancer-causing chemical as well as the severity of the Zantac cancer risk. The drugmaker, Sanofi, discovered the tendency for Zantac to contain the cancer-causing substance NDMA during early drug development in the early 1980s, yet neglected to warn federal regulators or consumers.
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What Do The Proton
Proton-pump inhibitors were supposed to be the final word in treating stomach acid conditions like indigestion, dyspepsia, GERD, acid reflux disease, and peptic ulcers. Prilosec was the first, followed soon by Prevacid and Nexium, but theyre all basically the same: a pyridine and benzimidazole moiety linked by a methylsulfinyl group. PPIs also all work the same way, by blocking the proton pump of the gastric parietal cells, which is the very last step before the stomach produces acid.
As of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration has approved six proton-pump inhibitors for treatment of gastrointestinal issues:
- Omeprazole / Prilosec
- Pantoprazole / Protonix
- Rabeprazole / AcipHex
The lawsuits allege that the companies behind these medications should have warned consumers and doctors about the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer. This litigation is in its very early stages, and there have been no settlements for gastric cancer caused by proton-pump inhibitors.
Why Has Zantac Been Recalled
In a broad sense, the ultimate purpose of any product recall is to help improve consumer safety by removing the products from shelves. In this case, the recall serves to reduce the risk of exposure to cancer-causing substances found in Zantac and ranitidine. For this reason, you should immediately cease any Zantac consumption, and report any retailers who are still selling or distributing Zantac or any other dangerous drugs.
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Drugstores Are Pulling Zantac
CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid are pulling Zantac and the generic form of the popular heartburn medication from pharmacy shelves over growing concerns that the products may contain small levels of nitrosodimethylamine , a possible cancer-causing chemical linked to liver damage.
CVS said Saturday it was suspending sales out of an abundance of caution. A spokesman for Walgreens said Monday that the pharmacy would remove brand name Zantac and generic forms of the drug while the FDA continues its review of products. Rite Aid is in the process of removing the drugs from its shelves, the company said in a statement.
Rite Aid takes customer safety very seriously,” the statement said.
The decision by the pharmacy giants adds to a flurry of worldwide concern about the drug. Major manufacturers of the generic form, ranitidine, have announced recalls, and other countries have requested that companies halt distribution of the drug or issued recalls. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been investigating the possible risk to patients, as well.
Exposure to low levels of NDMA does not pose an acute risk to patients. The chemical is classified as a probable carcinogen and is an environmental contaminant, and it can be found in food, such as grilled meat.
The FDA has been asking companies to test the levels of NDMA in their drugs and send samples to the agency.
What Should Ppi Patients Do
So, should a patient who is on PPIs stop taking them? The answer is not always simple. Dr. Perre suggests patients who have been on PPIs consult their doctor about their prescription. But, he advises, patients should not stop taking PPIs cold turkey. Often, people have rebound symptoms after cutting them off abruptly, he says. Patients with GERD may be able to remain off PPIs if they modify their diet and lifestyle by, for example, not smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine, avoiding spicy foods and not eating late at night. Its clear that lifestyle and diet modification should be the base of the pyramid with any treatment of a patient with acid reflux, Dr. Perre says. But in some people where that doesnt work, they may need to be on proton pump inhibitor therapy long term.” In the end, though, whether to continue taking the drugs should be a decision made in consultation with your doctor. Patients should talk to their doctors about long-term PPI use and follow their recommendations on whether to stay on the drugs or use another intervention.
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What Is In Zantac That Causes Cancer
NDMA is the main chemical in Zantac that is known to cause cancer in animals and probably in humans.
Zantacs relationship with NDMA is unique. Out of all the drugs that FDA has found to be contaminated with NDMA including valsartan, losartan and metformin ranitidine has been the only medication in which levels of the carcinogen may actually increase over time as the drug sits on the shelf.
FDA has found N-nitrosodimethylamine levels in some ranitidine products increase with time and temperature posing a risk to consumers, and therefore the agency has requested the withdrawal of all ranitidine products from the U.S. market.
Other Drugs Need Closer Investigation
The bodys ability to create NDMA after taking ranitidine seems limited. But the fact that NDMA can be generated as ranitidine sits on the shelf or medicine cabinet is still concerning, and this same phenomenon might occur in other drugs as well.
In another study, investigators added chloramine, a disinfectant routinely added to sterilize drinking water, to water samples that contained one of several medications that are structurally similar to ranitidine. They found that several commonly used drugs, including antihistamines , a migraine drug , another heartburn drug and a blood pressure drug all generated NDMA.
It is unclear whether the amount of NDMA created by these drugs when stored in hot and humid environments is dangerous, as with ranitidine. I believe that more studies need to be done right away to find out. It is always better to be safe than sorry, particularly when dealing with a possible carcinogen.
Editors note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on February 4, 2021.
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What To Do If Youve Been Diagnosed With Cancer
If youve been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, tell your doctor about your history with ranitidine. It may help them determine your diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Make sure to keep your doctors notes and medical records. You may qualify to file a Zantac lawsuit and be eligible for compensation from Zantacs makers.
If you are interested in finding out more about your legal options, contact a Zantac lawyer right away because there may be time limits on your case.
Michelle Llamas has been writing articles and producing podcasts about drugs, medical devices and the FDA for nearly a decade. She focuses on various medical conditions, health policy, COVID-19, LGBTQ health, mental health and womens health issues. Michelle collaborates with experts, including board-certified doctors, patients and advocates, to provide trusted health information to the public. Some of her qualifications include:
- Member of American Medical Writers Association and former Engage Committee and Membership Committee member
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
- Original works published or cited in The Lancet, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the Journal for Palliative Medicine
Researchers Reveal Popular Heartburn Medicine Filled With Cancer Causing Chemical
Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration said it discovered small amounts of a chemical linked to cancer in the popular heartburn medicine Zantac. Health officials say it contains a probable cancer-causing chemical in the medications. This medication is sold over-the-counter, as well as by prescription, to treat heartburn symptoms. Doctors wrote more than 15 million prescriptions for Zantac in 2016.
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What To Do About The Heartburn Medication Recall
Some drugs that contain ranitidine have been found by the FDA to have unacceptable amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine , a possible cancer-causing chemical .
On April 1, 2020, the FDA requested that all forms of ranitidine , including prescription and over-the-counter products, be removed from the market. They may contain unacceptable levels of a potential cancer-causing substance known as NDMA, or N-Nitrosodimethylamine. In some samples tested by the FDA, the impurity appears to increase over time, especially when stored at higher temperatures. So far, tests of other acid blockers do not show this potential increased cancer risk.
People using over-the-counter ranitidine should stop taking it and consider a different acid blocking therapy, such as famotidine or cimetidine . They’re all in a class of medications known as H2 blockers, which block a chemical that signals the stomach to produce acid. “They’re fairly interchangeable, working equally well for most people,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
For those taking prescription ranitidine, they should contact their doctor for advice.
Heartburn Drugs And Cancer Risk: What You Need To Know
Countless GERD sufferers take heartburn drugs every single day to keep the symptoms in check, but little do they know is that the medication they have been religiously taking for years may break down into a dangerous cancer-causing chemical. Earlier this year, the FDA recalled a handful of heartburn drugs including Zantac, once the worlds bestselling drug.
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Ndma In Blood Pressure Medications
This isnt the first time that scientists detected the infamous cancer-causing chemical in OTC and prescription medications.
In the summer of 2018, manufacturers recalled a number of blood pressure medications containing the generic drug valsartan after the FDA also found unacceptable levels of cancer-causing substances in them.
Most of the contaminants belonged to a group of organic compounds called nitrosamines. This group includes NDMA and N-nitrosodiethylamine , another compound considered to be a probable carcinogen.
On top of their prevalence in certain medications, experts also found traces of the chemicals in other products, including leather, pesticides and tires. Humans could also be exposed to nitrosamines from toiletries.
For this reason, some healthcare professionals believe that individuals face an equal risk of nitrosamine exposure from medications and common household products.
Nonetheless, the FDA is still conducting investigations and trials on nitrosamines and impurities in medicines.
Because of the controversy and uncertainty about these drugs, many physicians are recommending medications that do not contain nitrosamines over those that do, like ranitidine and valsartan drugs.
As A Common External Factor That Can Lead To The Development Of Cancer Patients Must Always Be On Guard For Drugs That May Contain Carcinogens
Cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the body start replicating at a rate beyond the bodys control. The medical complication can occur in any part of the body where cell division takes place. After some time, the problem spreads to other areas. Some people are more prone to cancer than others. Some of the risk factors include genetics and external environmental factors.
The consequences of dangerous drug injuries can be devastating. One of the common external factors that may lead to cancer is prescription drugs. Scientists are still researching to establish how drugs cause cancer. Drugs that cause cancer are divided into three major categories:
- Immunosuppressive therapy
- Diabetes medications
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What Is Ndma And Why Is It In Ranitidine
NDMA is a product of industrial and environmental waste, one which has been found in water supplies and food products over the years, including dairy, vegetables, and grilled meats. It is technically classified as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning that it is capable of modifying DNA to cause the growth of cancer cells.
Originally produced as a research chemical, NDMA was once used to create rocket fuel. However, this was discontinued after high levels of the chemical were found in the air following takeoffs.
Since the recall of ranitidine, scientists have studied the effect that the medicine has on the body. Though the leading belief is that ranitidine reacts with bodily enzymes to create NDMA, studies have remained inconclusive. Another theory is that ranitidine may be unstable, breaking down easily in the body, and eventually becoming NDMA. In either case, though, NDMA is rapidly and heavily absorbed into the body, as opposed to being excreted through urine. This is especially important, as this means longer exposure to the carcinogen.
Experts: Why Ranitidine Won’t Return
The 2016 study, despite the measuring methods used that are now not recommended, was just one of many pointing to the potential NDMA-cancer link.
“Other studies have shown this using other methods,” says Ivan Oransky, MD, co-founder of Retraction Watch, which publicized the retraction of the study on June 15. “This wasn’t the only line of evidence that the FDA and others were citing when they made that decision to recall.â
“The ranitidine molecule itself is fundamentally unstable,” says David Light, CEO of Valisure, an online pharmacy and testing laboratory that first brought the problem of NDMA in ranitidine to the attention of the FDA in June 2019 before filing a petition in September seeking the drugâs recall.
“It will absolutely have no effect on the recall of ranitidine,” agrees Ron Najafi, PhD, CEO of Emery Pharma, a research laboratory that tested the medication using another measurement method approved by the FDA and then filed its own petition seeking a recall Jan. 2, 2020. Najafi is also working as a consultant for plaintiffs claiming ranitidine caused their cancers.
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