Heartburn is an uncomfortable phenomenon that happens when there is too much acid in the stomach, and it rises back into the throat. When this happens, many Americans opt to take medicines to combat the acid and ease their discomfort. One of those medicines used to be Zantac until it was recalled. If you used to take Zantac and have developed cancer, you might be able to file a Little Rock Zantac cancer lawsuit.
What Is Zantac?
Zantac’s main ingredient is ranitidine, which is in a class of drugs called histamine H2-receptor antagonists, or H2 blockers, and reduce how much acid is produced by the stomach. Patients take both prescribed and over-the-counter ranitidine products for conditions like heartburn and stomach ulcers. The drug can also help treat erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
As with any medication, there are potential side effects of Zantac, and some of those are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
But these side effects aren’t the only dangers of Zantac. Let’s look into other components of the drug and why it was recalled.
What Is NDMA?
As it turns out, this heartburn medication can do more harm than good. Zantac was voluntarily recalled by the drug companies Novartis and Apotex in September of 2019 because it was found that ranitidine could have probable links to cancer, as it contains levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) when it combines with water. Since humans are up to 60 percent water, this can make it dangerous in our bodies.
NDMA is described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a probable carcinogen to humans, and while it can occur in drinking water, dietary and health supplements are the main way humans ingest it. Originally, NDMA was used to make rocket fuel, but this stopped when they found the compound in the surrounding air, water, and soil of a fuel manufacturing plant. It was also used as a softener and copolymer but is only used now for research purposes. It can be broken down by sunlight, but it’s unknown if it can be naturally broken down in water, which is a concern because it can be mobile in soil and leak into water.
Since this industrial compound is dangerous in the air and in water, some pharmaceutical distributors were concerned about its levels in medication since they are ingested. Though the online pharmacy Valisure claims that the levels of NDMA in ranitidine are “extremely high,” the FDA claims they found low levels of NDMA when they ran preliminary tests on the drug. Either way, NDMA has probable links to cancer, so any level could be dangerous.
By February of 2020, the FDA advised other drug companies to test their ranitidine products’ NDMA levels, and if the levels are above the acceptable daily intake, which is 96 nanograms per day, they should recall it. They also advise patients who take ranitidine products to consult their doctors before stopping their usage, and that other drugs are available to take care of the same problem. But if patients had been taking Zantac or another ranitidine product daily, they could have valid concerns about getting cancer from the products and might be eligible to file a Little Rock Zantac cancer lawsuit.
What Cancers Does Zantac Cause?
The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances lists the health harms of NDMA, and one of those is potentially developing cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees and classifies NDMA as a B2 carcinogen, which means that it is probably cancer-causing in humans. More specifically, patients taking Zantac for a long period of time could develop stomach and bladder cancers.
WHO describes the chemical production of cancer from NDMA as the biotransformation of liver microsomal enzymes and generation of methyl diazonium ions. In simpler terms, NDMA chemically modifies our DNA to cause cancer.
On top of possibly causing stomach and bladder cancers, NDMA is also a hepatotoxin, which means that it is harmful to livers. Short-term, this could mean liver damage or disease, an enlarged liver, and decreased liver function, but if someone takes this drug long-term, they increase their risk of liver, kidney, and lung cancers.
Some symptoms of NDMA overexposure are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
If you have had these symptoms or worse after taking Zantac or its generic form for a long period of time, and have gotten a cancer diagnosis, you could have a claim against Zantac and could use the help of a Little Rock personal injury attorney. Let’s look at some of your options.
Filing a Little Rock Zantac Cancer Lawsuit
After these discoveries, there have been lawsuits filed against Sanofi, a manufacturer who did not cease their shipments of Zantac and its generic versions even after the findings. Other than taking action against the company Sanofi, you could also file a class action lawsuit against Zantac. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and you believe taking Zantac could have caused that diagnosis, then you could be eligible to file a class action lawsuit against the company.
Although filing a case against Zantac can’t change your diagnosis, it can hold the drug company responsible for their negligent or wrongful actions in distributing a pharmaceutical that was unsafe for consumers. Filing a claim can be the extra push needed to get the dangerous drug completely off the shelves and prevent this from happening to other people in the future.
We’ll start your product liability claim by investigating the situation and looking into the economic and noneconomic factors that determine how much compensation you should seek. Any costs that you’ve had throughout the entire process will be included, like what you spent on Zantac, any medical costs you incurred from your cancer diagnosis and treatments, and any lost wages from work missed. We will also take your pain and suffering into consideration. While those damages can be harder to calculate, our lawyers have the experience to evaluate your noneconomic losses.
McMath Woods, P.A. Can Represent You
At McMath Woods, P.A., we know how difficult a cancer diagnosis can be, especially when you find out it could have been caused by a medication you were initially told was safe. Although a Zantac cancer lawsuit might seem like a big undertaking in this time in your life, it can offer you the peace of mind that you need moving forward.
We will work diligently and tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can begin to recover physically, emotionally, and financially after this hard time. Your case could take a long time, so you’ll want to reach out to our office as soon as possible. We can discuss your potential claim and your legal options moving forward.