Zantac is a drug used to treat conditions such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Ulcers, and other conditions caused by an increased stomach acid level. Also known as Ranitidine, Zantac was previously available over-the-counter and in prescription due to its active ingredient. It is an Antihistamine that is used to reduce heartburn and alleviate certain allergic reactions.
Zantac is available in many forms, such as injection, tablet, effervescent tablet, and syrup. As most lawyers know, the drug was previously FDA approved to treat conditions such as Gastric Ulcers, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Duodenal Ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome in children 12 years or older. However, the FDA recalled the drug due to the cancer-causing contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine(NDMA) found in Ranitidine medications.
Side Effects and Contraindications
Zantac has various side effects, which may occur frequently or infrequently, depending on the individual. The common side effects of using Zantac include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, and stomach cramps. However, there are some severe side effects of using Zantac. These are rare and may include Malaise, Renal problems, Pancytopenia, Jaundice, Irregular heart rhythm, and Pneumonia.
The contraindications include hypersensitivity to Ranitidine and other Zantac ingredients, kidney problems, and acute porphyria. The drug also interacts with medications such as Warfarin, Procainamide, Midazolam, and Triazolam.
Recall and Lawsuits
The FDA recalled all Zantac medications due to the unacceptable levels of NDMA found in the drug. NDMA is a substance capable of causing cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the substance as a possible human carcinogen. The FDA discovered that the impurities in some Ranitidine-based drugs increased over a certain period and may result in exposure to hazardous levels of the impurity.
Therefore, the U.S Food and Drug Administration recalled all over-the-counter and prescription Zantac products from the market. According to the FDA, NDMA production in Ranitidine increases during breakdown under storage conditions or when exposed to temperatures above room temperature. Some Zantac products were tested and were found to contain high levels of NDMA, while others had safe levels. The FDA then recalled all Zantac products as a safety measure.
Consumers using the drug were advised to stop immediately and consult with healthcare professionals to get safe alternatives. Since then, there have been several lawsuits claiming the medication caused various types of cancers. Zantac products exposed consumers to unsafe levels of NDMA. From the FDA’s testing results, the data showed NDMA levels that were almost 10 times the safe levels.
The Plaintiffs have claimed that the manufacturers must have known about the carcinogen but kept producing the drug. Studies as far back as 1982 have linked Ranitidine to DNA damage in rats and the presence of NDMA in Ranitidine. There have been various lawsuits filed against the manufacturers with varying levels of claimed damages.
Viability of a Zantac Lawsuit and Cost
In most cases, filing this type of lawsuit costs nothing as cases such as this are usually based on contingency. This means the attorney only gets payment after winning the case or getting a settlement. Though an attorney can determine how viable your Zantac lawsuit is, there are general eligibility factors. The first is a history of Ranitidine use.
To qualify for a Zantac lawsuit, the individual must be able to prove that they have used the drug for some time. To prove this, a previous prescription or note from a doctor can be helpful. Also, for a valid claim, there must be a cancer diagnosis. NDMA-associated cancers include bladder cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and leukemia. Being diagnosed with any of the NDMA-associated cases is required to have a viable Zantac lawsuit.
Lastly, high dosage or prolonged use of Zantac can help connect the drug to a cancer diagnosis. The standard legal damages include loss of income, pain, and cost of medical treatments as a result of a cancer diagnosis. As for the compensation, the range is yet to be determined as the lawsuits are still ongoing. However, in similar cases involving defective drugs, the lawsuits have resulted in awards of up to $2 million or more.
Getting Help with Zantac Negative Side-Effects
If you have had a cancer diagnosis due to taking Zantac, you can contact us at Rueb Stoller Daniel. Knowing the right legal steps to take to get a worthy compensation might be daunting to handle alone. We offer help to victims of pharmaceutical mishaps and help you take legal action against the manufacturers responsible. We’ll offer you a free first consultation and take your case on a contingency basis.