Zantac Recalled Amid Cancer Concerns

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Despite reassurance from FDA, Zantac recalls continue to mount

Recalls of prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine, the active ingredient in the heartburn medication Zantac, over potential cancer risks continue to plague manufacturers of these popular drugs, and the patients who rely on them. Since September 2019, a number of manufacturers have issued recalls of generic and brand-name ranitidine over concerns the drugs could form a dangerous substance known as NDMA when it enters the body. 

NDMA is a probable carcinogen, meaning it is potentially cancer-causing to humans. It is a naturally occurring substance, but concerns have been raised over whether Zantac can produce NDMA in dangerous quantities when it is processed by the body. 

Drug manufacturers have recalled dozens of ranitidine products on what seems like a weekly basis over these cancer concerns. At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to test the drugs to figure out whether or not they could cause cancer. 

heartburn zantac cancer risk

In spite of the recalls, the FDA says its research has so far found that Zantac does not form NDMA once it enters the body—at least not in laboratory tests that mimic the conditions of the human digestive system. 

In a statement released Nov. 1, 2019, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Dr. Janet Woodcock said the agency has tested numerous ranitidine products on the market and has so far found levels of NDMA similar to those you would expect when eating common foods like grilled or smoked meats. 

“We also conducted tests that simulate what happens to ranitidine after it has been exposed to acid in the stomach with a normal diet and results of these tests indicate that NDMA is not formed through this process. Similarly, if ranitidine is exposed to a simulated small intestine environment, NDMA is not formed.”

Dr. Woodcock acknowledged the agency must test these drugs in the actual human body—not just simulated lab environments—to “fully understand if ranitidine forms NDMA.”

On Nov. 6, 2019, just one week after the FDA’s statement, another ranitidine recall was announced, this time by generic drug manufacturer Aurobindo Pharma USA.  Less than a week later on Nov. 12, 2019, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC announced a recall of its ranitidine products.

Zantac Cancer Lawsuits

Lawsuits are being filed by people who took prescription and over-the-counter Zantac to treat their heartburn and later developed cancer. If you took Zantac and developed stomach, bladder, or other cancers, you may be entitled to financial compensation. 

The attorneys at Schmidt National Law Group are experienced in taking on big pharmaceutical companies and holding them accountable for the harm their drugs can cause. Call us at 800-631-5656 today to speak with a member of our legal team and see if you qualify for a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit.