Recently, more than 200 people joined a quasi class-action lawsuit—known as multi district litigation (MDL) filed in United States Federal Court Southern Division—in South Florida against the maker of Zantac, a popular drug that contains Ranitidine, an antihistamine and antacid used to treat heartburn. The claimants allege that the makers of Zantac deceived millions of consumers into “purchasing and ingesting a defective, misbranded, adulterated and harmful drug” while failing to inform consumers that the drug contained a probable human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) called N-nitrosodimethylamine, also known as NDMA.
The Zantac lawsuit followed statements and actions from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), who tested the product for the presence of NDMA, as well as a voluntary recall of the drug by its manufacturer, Sanofi, in the U.S. and Canada.
If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac between 1983 and 2020, immediately call the Zantac lawsuit attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe. We can help you understand the process of recovering damages for the expenses and impacts to your life that were caused by this drug.
Call Our Law Firm for Help With Your Zantac Cancer Claim
The attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, have extensive experience with Zantac lawsuits, and we currently work with affected individuals both throughout Florida, as well as those in other parts of the United States with the help of Zantac lawsuit attorneys licensed in those specific jurisdictions. If we are not licensed in a particular state, we will work under a lawyer licensed in that jurisdiction. We are pleased to work with a strong national network of leading attorneys throughout the United States who we can rely on to provide the best service for our clients. Our Award Winning Zantac Injury Attorneys provide local counsel for our out-of-state clients.
In addition to accepting Zantac cancer cases, our attorneys are pursuing several other product liability claims involving defective medications and other products, such as Actos, Fosamax, Nuvaring, Pradaxa, Risperdal, talcum powder, opioids, and AFFF fire fighting foam. We are also targeting sex trafficking claims anywhere in the United States.
In addition to Zantac, the firm has pursued cases involving:
- Elmiron: This prescription medication, used to treat bladder pain, has been found to cause eye and vision problems that include difficulty reading, dark spots appearing in the sufferer’s vision, the inability of the eyes to adjust to the dimming or darkening of light, and blurred vision. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Accident Injury Lawyers has investigated hundreds of Elmiron claims.
- Mesothelioma: Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Accident Injury Lawyers has also been active in mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is not curable and those who receive this diagnosis generally have a life expectancy of about 12 months. We have investigated many of these cases, have assisted ill clients or their family members in gathering the needed evidence, and have relied on our network of experts to assist us with testimony necessary to prove claims related to this illness. We have not only filed lawsuits on behalf of our asbestos-exposed clients, but have also assisted them with workers’ compensation claims.
We have the resources and experience to help Zantac cancer patients like you—and we want to assist you. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe. Please call us at (833) 606-DRUG  now to see how we can help.
What Is Zantac?
Ranitidine hydrochloride, more widely known as Zantac, was invented by Glaxo Holdings, Ltd, and received its first FDA approval in 1983 for short-term use in the treatment of a common form of ulcers. At the time when it received FDA approval, the drug was already approved for use in 31 countries. Within five years, Zantac was the best selling drug in the world and one of the first to ever garner more than $1 billion in annual sales.
Ranitidine hydrochloride belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers that are known to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. The prescription-only formula of Zantac was designed to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines and prevent new ones from forming. It also has been used to treat other problems involving the stomach and throat (esophagus), such as erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, which is a digestive disorder that causes tumors in the pancreas and portions of the small intestine.
An over-the-counter formula of Zantac was also commonly available to treat heartburn and other issues caused by acid indigestion.
The labeled instructions for Zantac noted that the user should take the medication orally, with or without food. Recommended usage was once or twice a day, though some individuals were prescribed to take it up to four times a day. The most common listed side effects of Zantac were headaches, constipation, or diarrhea.
However, patients were warned to seek medical attention immediately for more serious side effects, such as:
- Blurred vision.
- Mental or mood changes, such as agitation, confusion, depression, or hallucinations.
- Easy bleeding or bruising.
- Enlarged breasts.
- Severe tiredness.
- Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.
- Signs of infection, such as a sore throat, fever, or chills.
- Severe abdominal pain.
- Dark urine.
- The yellowing of the skin or eyes, known as jaundice.
When Was the Zantac Cancer Link Detected?
While ranitidine hydrochloride was widely successful and well-used, problems were noticed almost immediately. In 1983, two Italian studies indicated that there was a link between ranitidine and NDMA. What they found is that Zantac contains dimethylamine (DMA), which can combine with nitrosamines, nitrites, and nitrates that are found in common foods such as grilled meats. Within the acid of the stomach, these two substances caused the cellular DNA of gastric cells to sustain damage.
In some cases, this damage could cause the DNA strands to mutate, producing cancer cells. This issue led investigators to suggest that the drug not be consumed with food and to also suggest that the drug include Vitamin C, which could help prevent cancer. These warnings apparently went unheeded by the manufacturer.
In 1997, Glaxo’s patent for ranitidine expired, and other manufacturers rushed to partake in the success of the drug by producing generics. In 2004, Zantac was approved through Pfizer to be offered over-the-counter. By 2017, Sanofi was the manufacturer of Zantac, and the drug—along with generics provided by other manufacturers—was widely available.
The issue of NDMA levels in Zantac crossed the FDA’s radar in recent years, as the agency began investigating the substance in other medicines, including blood pressure and heart failure medicines, known as Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs). Those investigations not only led FDA officials to recommend numerous voluntary recalls, but also put the investigators on the trail of other medicines that contain NDMAs, including Zantac. Experts are convinced that NDMA is a probable human carcinogen.
What Is NDMA?
Does NDMA Cause Cancer?
N-Nitrosodimethylamine is a yellow liquid with no distinct odor. It was originally used as rocket fuel, but that use was discontinued after regulators discovered that the substance was contaminating the air, water, and soil surrounding the rocket manufacturing plant. It was also used as an antioxidant, as well as a softener for copolymers. This use was also halted, and currently NDMA is only used for research purposes in the U.S.
Unfortunately, despite regulations regarding the use of the substance, it has also been determined that NDMA can be inadvertently produced through the reactions of various chemicals involved in industrial processes. A small amount of NDMA is often detected in food and other products consumed by humans, which is the primary source of people’s exposure to the substance.
The food and other products most commonly found to contain NDMA include:
- Tobacco smoke and chewing tobacco.
- Cured meats, particularly bacon.
- Toiletry and cosmetic products such as shampoos and cleansers.
- The interior air of cars.
- Various household goods including detergents and pesticides.
- Rubber baby bottles and pacifiers.
- Human breast milk.
- Municipal water supplies.
NDMA contamination can be found in many products and in the air itself.
NDMA can also be formed in the human stomach during the digestion of foods containing alkylamines, which are naturally occurring compounds found in a variety of foods and drugs. NDMA can also enter the body through breathing air that contains the substance, though NDMA is found to dissipate in the air relatively quickly
Experiments have indicated that after animals have been given NDMA by mouth, it enters the bloodstream and travels through several of the body’s organs within minutes. When the substance reaches the liver, it is then broken down into other substances that mostly leave the body within 24 hours through air that the lungs exhale, and the body’s elimination processes.
Zantac Cancer Concerns and Timeline of FDA’s Actions
The FDA started releasing statements regarding Zantac, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019.
A timeline of these statements and the corresponding actions that the agency has taken includes:
- September 13, 2019: The FDA issued a statement announcing that laboratory tests had revealed that products containing ranitidine contained low levels of the nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels. The agency noted that it was evaluating whether the low levels of NDMA in ranitidine posed a risk to patients. The FDA was not recommending that patients using ranitidine stopped taking their medication at that time, but did urge those patients to discuss alternative treatment options with their physician and to report adverse reactions to the use of ranitidine to the agency’s MedWatch website to help provide a better understanding of the problem.
- September 24, 2019: The FDA announced the voluntary recall of 14 lots of prescription generic ranitidine capsules distributed by Sandoz, Inc., due to the presence of NDMA in the drug. The agency urged patients impacted by the recall to follow the recall instructions provided by the company and noted that not all ranitidine-containing products had been recalled at that point—only those included in the 14 lots from Sandoz. The agency also stated that its investigation of ranitidine was continuing, and that a testing protocol had been developed to be used by companies and regulators to test the levels of NDMA in ranitidine products.
- September 26, 2019: The FDA announced the voluntary recall of over-the-counter ranitidine products labeled by Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid that were produced by Apotex Corp.
- October 23, 2019: The FDA announced additional voluntary recalls, including the recall of Sanofi’s over-the-counter Zantac, as well as prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine products offered by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, LTD. The agency issued a Questions and Answers fact sheet for patients and providers affected by the recall.
- October 28, 2019: The agency announced more recalls of ranitidine products, including those offered by Perrigo Company, Novitium Pharma LLC, and Lannett Company.
- November 1, 2019: The FDA released the laboratory results for testing of ranitidine-containing products offered by multiple companies. Those results revealed levels of NDMA that were consistent with the levels commonly found in foods such as grilled meats. While the levels were lower, the agency stated, than previous studies had indicated, they were still higher than what the agency considers acceptable. The agency’s instructions to patients were essentially unchanged, with ranitidine users being encouraged to discuss alternative treatment options with their health provider and to report adverse experiences with ranitidine to the FDA’s MedWatch program.
- November 8, 2019: Another recall was announced by the agency, this time from Aurobindo Pharma USA. The FDA announced that it had advised all makers of ranitidine products to also recall those products to perform their own laboratory tests using the agency’s testing protocol to ensure that the levels of the chemical impurity were not found unacceptably high.
- November 12, 2019: Two more voluntary recalls were announced, this time for some ranitidine products manufactured by Amneal Pharmaceuticals and American Health Packaging.
- November 22, 2019: Voluntary recalls for products containing unacceptable levels of NDMA manufactured by Golden State Medical Supply and Precision Dose Inc. were announced.
- December 4, 2019: The FDA issued a statement urging manufacturers to continue testing their ranitidine-containing products for unacceptable levels of NDMA—that is, products containing more than the acceptable daily intake limit of 96 nanograms per day or 0.32 parts per million of the substance.
- December 2019 to February 2020: Several additional companies voluntarily recalled some of their products for having more than the acceptable amount of NDMA.
- April 1, 2020: The FDA requested the removal of all ranitidine-containing over-the-counter products from the market immediately. The agency’s tests had determined that NDMA in these products increased over time when stored at a temperature higher than room temperature. This increase in NDMA—a probable carcinogen—could also be caused by products stored for longer periods of time at room temperature resulting in NDMA contamination. The FDA also announced that no new over-the-counter or prescription products containing ranitidine would be available for patients.
Many nizatidine products were also recalled for containing unacceptable levels of NDMA. Like ranitidine, nizatidine is a drug used to treat stomach ulcers and was also approved for occasional use to treat heartburn and acid indigestion. However, to date, the FDA has not found unacceptable levels of NDMA in similar medications used to treat the same conditions, including famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec).
The FDA noted that, if companies manufacture ranitidine-containing products and prove that these products—when subjected to higher temperatures and longer storage times—do not cause an increase in the level of NDMA found, these products may return to the market. The FDA also stated that it had concern over the potential harm to animals who are given products containing ranitidine, and urged companies manufacturing those drugs for animal use to also test their products.
The FDA stated that, for humans exposed to higher levels of NDMA over a long period of time, there was a risk of harm. However, those who had NDMA levels that were at or below the acceptable daily intake for 70 years would not be expected to be at higher risk for cancer.
Despite information about Italian testing that indicated high levels of NDMA in ranitidine in the 1980s, the FDA asserts that it does not know how long this drug has contained high levels of impurity. The agency did note that it is constantly evaluating medications that it has already approved so that it can learn more about the safety of those products over time.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and have used ranitidine drugs or Zantac, contact us for more information about your legal options.
Zantac Cancer, Illnesses and Lawsuits
Zantac and other ranitidine-containing products have been found to contain a chemical impurity known as NDMA. NDMA is classified as a B2 carcinogen.
What this means is:
- NDMA has a high probability of being carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer.
- There is sufficient evidence to suggest a causal relationship between NDMA and cancer, but that the evidence is not conclusive of alternative explanations.
The use of ranitidine-containing products, commonly referred to as Zantac, for treatment of ulcers, heartburn, acid indigestion, and other digestive issues was linked to negative health outcomes that can result in product liability lawsuits and are currently the subject of a class-action suit filed in Southern Florida.
NDMA is quickly absorbed by the body and can enter your organs through the bloodstream within a matter of minutes, which explains the reason the health concerns related to this substance’s cancer-causing potential are so widespread.
What type of cancer could Zantac cause?
The liver is a football-sized organ that sits in the upper right portion of your abdomen. There are several types of liver cancer, including the more common type that is spread to the liver from other parts of the body, as well as those that begin in the cells within the organ itself.
Some of the symptoms of liver cancer include:
- Losing weight without trying.
- Loss of appetite.
- Upper abdominal pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Overall body weakness and fatigue.
- Abdominal swelling.
- Yellow discoloration of the skin or whites of the eyes.
- White, chalky stools
Stomach or Colorectal Cancer
As explained by the American Cancer Society, cancer begins when cells begin growing out of control in one part of the body. These cancerous cells can then spread to other organs. Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is caused when the cell overgrowth begins in the stomach.
This type of cancer generally forms over years. The five-year relative survival rate for this type of cancer is five years, meaning that when compared to people with similar types of cancer who were diagnosed at the same stage and the general population, 70 percent of individuals diagnosed with stomach cancer will still be alive five years after diagnosis.
The stages of cancer are generally:
- Stage 1: The cancer is localized to one organ in the body. This stage presents the best survival rate.
- Stage 2: The cancer cells spread to other organs in the same region of the body where cancer started.
- Stage 3: The cancer cells spread throughout the body.
Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum. Most colorectal cancers start with a small growth in the colon or rectum known as a polyp. There are many different types of polyps and not all of them result in the formation of cancer. Those most likely to cause cancer include polyps that are larger than 1 cm, and several polyps occurring in the same general area simultaneously.
The link between H2 blocker medications like ranitidine and breast cancer was established in a 2008 study. The study revealed that the drug increases the risk of ductal carcinoma by more than two-fold in both men and women. One of the first Zantac lawsuits involved a Florida man who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. At the time of the diagnosis, he had been using Zantac for about four years to treat regular heartburn.
Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer, accounting for around 20 percent of all new breast cancer cases. 180,000 women are diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma each year, and this condition can also affect men.
Bladder cancer most often begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Because most bladder cancers are detected and diagnosed early, this condition is considered highly treatable.
The symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in the urine, which may cause urine to appear bright red or cola-colored.
- Frequent urination.
- Painful urination.
- Frequent backaches.
Because the function of the kidneys is to filter harmful chemicals from the bloodstream and move them to the bladder for elimination from the body, cancer-causing chemicals are a frequent suspect in the cause of this type of cancer. Bladder cancer occurs more frequently in men than it does in women.
Small Intestine Cancer
Cancer of the small intestine is a rare disease that occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the small intestine. This type of cancer generally presents with abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss. The small intestine is part of the body’s digestive system, along with the esophagus, stomach, and large intestine. The digestive system works to remove and process nutrients from the foods we eat while also helping to pass waste material from the body.
This type of cancer is generally diagnosed following an exam that includes:
- A complete physical exam and medical history.
- Blood chemistry studies that measure the level of certain substances in the body. An amount of these substances that is higher or lower than normal indicates the need to further consider a diagnosis of small intestine cancer.
- Tests that study the liver function. Higher amounts of a certain substance in the liver can indicate a condition that results from small intestine cancer.
- An endoscopy, which is a diagnostic test in which the organs and tissues are studied using an internal camera to look for abnormal areas.
- A biopsy, which is another diagnostic test in which cells from the affected area are studied under a microscope to look for abnormalities.
The survival rate of small intestine cancer depends on several factors, including whether the cancer has spread to other organs, including the liver.
The esophagus is a long, hollow tube that runs from the throat to the stomach, helping to move food from the mouth to the stomach for digestion. Esophageal cancer generally begins with cancerous cells growing in the lining of the esophagus. More prevalent in men than women, this type of cancer can appear in any part of the esophagus and the risk—as with most types of cancers—is that the abnormal cells will spread through the blood or lymph system to other parts of the body.
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Weight loss without trying.
- Chest pain, pressure, or burning.
- Worsening indigestion or heartburn.
- Coughing or hoarseness.
Those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD, are at higher risk of developing this type of cancer. GERD is one of the issues that Zantac was designed to treat.
The prostate is a gland only found in males, and it is responsible for producing some of the fluid that is part of semen. Prostate cancer begins when the cells in the prostate gland begin to grow uncontrollably. The most common type of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma. However, there are several other types of prostate cancer as well. Most prostate cancers grow very slowly, though some can grow and spread rapidly.
The symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation.
- Sudden erectile dysfunction.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
- Frequent urination, particularly at night.
- Difficulty stopping or starting urination.
The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen, in the lower part of the stomach. This organ is responsible for releasing enzymes that aid in digestion, as well as hormones that help to regulate blood sugar. The most common type of pancreatic cancer forms in the cells that line the ducts that carry digestive enzymes out of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer often does not present with any discernible symptoms during the early stages, which is one of the main reasons why this cancer is not usually diagnosed while it is in a stage where treatment will be effective.
Advanced pancreatic cancer shows symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain that radiates down the back.
- Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss.
- Yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
- Light-colored stools.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Itchy skin.
- A new diagnosis of diabetes, or pre-existing diabetes that becomes harder to control.
- Blood clots.
The female reproductive system contains two ovaries, located on each side of the uterus. The almond-sized ovaries produce eggs as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control the female reproductive cycle. Ovarian cancer is often undetected until after it has already spread to other organs in the abdomen.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling.
- Quickly feeling full when eating.
- Weight loss.
- Discomfort in the pelvic area.
- Changes in bowel habits, including constipation.
- A frequent need to urinate.
As with many types of cancers, treatment can include surgery and chemotherapy.
Also known as endometrial cancer, uterine cancer begins in the uterus, which is a hollow, pear-shaped organ responsible for fetal development. Uterine cancer is often detected early, as it presents with abnormal vaginal bleeding. Generally, if the cancer has not spread to other organs, removal of the uterus can cure endometrial cancer.
Throat cancer can appear in the throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), or tonsils. This type of cancer often begins in the flat cells that line the throat.
Symptoms of throat cancer can include:
- A cough.
- Changes in the voice, particularly hoarseness.
- Ear pain.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- A lump or sore that doesn’t heal.
- A sore throat.
- Weight loss.
Like esophageal cancer, the risk of developing throat cancer is increased among individuals with GERD.
Testicular cancer occurs in the testes of men. The testes are located inside the scrotum and produce hormones and sperm needed for reproduction. While relatively rare when compared to other types of cancer, testicular cancer is actually the most common cancer to occur in American males between the ages of 15 to 35. This type of cancer is generally highly treatable, even if it has spread beyond the testicle.
- A lump or enlargement in either testicle.
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin.
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.
- Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum.
- Enlargement of the breasts.
- Back pain.
The thyroid is an organ shaped like a small butterfly that is located in the lower front region of the neck. Not only does this organ control the metabolism, it also releases hormones that direct bodily functions, including how you use energy, produce heat, and consume oxygen. Thyroid cancer also seldom produces symptoms until it has progressed.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- Neck or throat pain.
- A lump in the neck.
- Vocal changes, such as hoarseness.
Thyroid cancer generally responds well to treatment, even if it is more advanced when initially detected.
Other Ranitidine Cancers
Other cancers are potentially associated with ranitidine or Zantac use. If you were diagnosed with cancer and you used Zantac or other products containing ranitidine and would like more information about whether you qualify to participate in the Zantac lawsuits and receive compensation for expenses and impacts related to your illness, contact us as soon as possible.
Perhaps the most well-understood bodily damage caused by NDMA occurs to the liver. According to a public health statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the substance NDMA is “very harmful to the liver of animals and humans.”
Studies indicate that humans who have been intentionally poisoned on one or several occasions with unknown levels of NDMA in foods or beverages died of severe liver damage that was accompanied by internal bleeding. Likewise, animals who ate food, drank water, or breathed air that contained high levels of NDMA over days or several weeks also developed serious non-cancerous liver disease.
In research, it was found that pregnant mice who were fed food containing NDMA gave birth to babies who were already dead at birth or died shortly after. The agency noted that it did not know if higher levels of NDMA exposure hurt pregnant women or their unborn children.
FAQs About Zantac Lawsuits
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and have used Zantac or other generic medications containing ranitidine regularly at any point between 1983 and now, you could be eligible to participate in a lawsuit and recover damages. Here are some of the questions that are most frequently asked about Zantac lawsuits.
Is the Zantac litigation a class-action lawsuit?
No, the litigation against Zantac is actually an MDL, or multi-district litigation. An MDL, like a class action, is aimed at increasing efficiency in the courts by temporarily consolidating and transferring all lawsuits with similar claims to a single district court for pretrial hearings, although the cases remain separate.
After the discovery process and pre-trial hearings are complete, the cases are then transferred back to the original district in which they were filed. However, many cases reach global settlements before they are heard in the original district. Unsettled cases are sometimes tried as “bellwether cases” to see how juries respond to the facts and to help MDL clients determine if it is in their best interest to pursue litigation or to settle.
A class action is a procedural device in which one or more plaintiffs file a lawsuit on behalf of a large group, known as a “class.” This allows courts to manage multiple lawsuits with similar claims in a more effective manner than if each member of the class were to file their own lawsuit. In addition, the class action protects the defendant from inconsistent obligations to plaintiffs arising from differences in jurisdictions where individual lawsuits are filed, as well as the ability to spread the cost of litigation among many plaintiffs.
What is the Zantac cancer risk?
Zantac was first approved for use in the U.S. in 1983, and it had received approval for the market in several other countries before that time. Early studies into the drug showed a potential link between the levels of a probable carcinogen, NDMA, and cancer. Although the drug makers either knew or reasonably should have known that the drug could cause harm, they continued to make it available worldwide. Hundreds of millions of individuals have used Zantac daily for months or even years. Zantac may have caused cancer in tens of thousands of individuals in the U.S.
Have Zantac lawsuits already been filed?
Yes, one of the first lawsuits was a case in the southern district of Florida involving a man who used Zantac regularly over a period of years and developed breast cancer.
Does NDMA cause other health issues besides cancer?
Yes, exposure to NDMA has been known to cause several disorders, including:
- Liver damage with internal bleeding.
- Nervous system disorders.
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Low platelet levels.
- Skin rashes.
- Hair loss.
- An increased risk of pneumonia.
If NDMA is only a “probable” carcinogen, is it possible that it does not cause cancer?
NDMA is referred to as a probable carcinogen based on strong associations between the substance and subsequent development of cancer in the body. However, these associations have not been unequivocally linked through human studies. That said, NDMA has been found to cause cancer in animal tests and it is strongly believed that regular doses above acceptable limits over a period of time will cause various cancers as well.
My pet has been taking a medication that contains ranitidine. What should I do about it?
The FDA has expressed concern that pets may suffer the same effects of NDMA found in ranitidine as humans do. Therefore, talk to your veterinarian about alternative medications to treat your pet.
How much can I get from a Zantac lawsuit?
What is my Zantac lawsuit worth? That is a question we hear frequently and rightfully so. We know that you need money to help pay for cancer treatments and living expenses. As such, you need to know how much you can receive from a Zantac lawsuit.
While it is expected that plaintiffs will reach a settlement with the manufacturers of ranitidine products within the next several years, at this point it is impossible to know how much each plaintiff will receive as their portion of the settlement. If your case is litigated individually and you are awarded damages, the amount of those damages depends on the severity of your illness, the cost of medical and other out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred, and the impact that your illness has had on your life.
How do I know if I qualify for the Zantac lawsuits?
An experienced product liability lawyer can help you determine whether you qualify.
However, the general criteria include:
- Regular (daily) use of Zantac or other generic drugs containing ranitidine for at least three months.
- A diagnosis in which cancer appeared in one of the areas associated with the use of Zantac, including the digestive tract or the blood.
- A latency period between the onset of Zantac use and the diagnosis of cancer that is at least one year. The amount of latency depends on the type of cancer you are diagnosed with.
I was using Zantac over-the-counter medication. What should I use to treat my heartburn now?
You should talk to your physician about a replacement medication for your condition. Patients can take alternatives to Zantac, including other classes of drugs as well as different H2 blockers. It is a matter of deciding with your doctor which one is right for you.
How are settlements in MDL cases negotiated?
There are a few negotiation processes that can be used, including:
- Global: Also known as matrix settlements, global settlements involve a dollar amount that is proposed to settle all pending litigation. This money is then divided between the plaintiffs. It should be noted, however, that all claimants will not necessarily receive the same settlement amount. There will be criteria established to determine how much each plaintiff will receive based on the stage of cancer they have been diagnosed with, the surgeries they have endured as a result of their condition, and other factors.
- Inventory: In inventory settlements, each attorney estimates the value of his or her client’s cases and each plaintiff that the attorney is working with determines an acceptable settlement amount based on their case value. The attorney then adds up the acceptable settlements from all of his or her MDL clients. The defendant proposes a settlement amount and if that amount is higher than the sum of all proposed settlement amounts, the clients share that additional compensation.
What if I do not agree with the Zantac settlement that is offered?
Your attorney will thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of accepting any Zantac settlement amount, but ultimately choosing to accept or decline a settlement offer is your decision to make. Understand the gamble: if you decide to decline the settlement and litigate the case, there is no guarantee that you will win. However, if you accept a Zantac settlement offer, you can not go back to the defendant for more money if you determine in the future that the amount you accepted was not enough.
What types of Zantac cancers have been identified?
Numerous types of cancers have been linked to ranitidine, including cancer of the liver, esophagus, throat, stomach, bladder, kidney, breast, uterus, ovaries, testicles, prostate, thyroid, small intestine, colon, or rectum. Blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may also be associated with the use of ranitidine-containing products.
How do I dispose of my unused Zantac?
If you can’t return the drug to the store or pharmacy where it was purchased due to COVID-19 precautions or other logistical issues, you should follow safe disposal directions provided in the manufacturer’s label or follow these steps offered by the FDA:
- Mix liquid or pill medications with an unappealing substance such as dirt or cat litter.
- Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag.
- Dispose of the mixture in your household trash.
- Be sure to delete all of your information from the prescription label and throw away or recycle packaging.
Will Zantac ever return to the market?
It is unclear if ranitidine will be available by prescription or over-the-counter in the future. The FDA states that the companies manufacturing this drug must prove that the drug does not contain dangerous levels of NDMA—even after time or in less-than-optimal storage conditions—for it to be approved for use.
How do I prove that I used Zantac?
If you were prescribed Zantac for the treatment of digestive issues such as ulcers or GERD, you can prove your Zantac use by showing your pharmacy record. If you used the over-the-counter medication, you can show prior use through receipts, notes in your medical record, or even through witnesses who live with you and can testify to your regular use of the drug.
What constitutes “regular” use of Zantac?
While the specific criteria for Zantac lawsuit eligibility continue to develop, a good rule of thumb for determining if your use of Zantac was regular is to determine if you took the medication daily for at least three months.
If Zantac has been on the market since 1983, why didn’t the FDA know about this problem sooner?
Around the time that the drug was approved for prescription-only, short-term use in the U.S., two Italian studies drew a link between NDMA found in ranitidine and certain types of cancer. Other studies through the years have also indicated a link between this drug and cancer. It is unclear as to why the FDA was unaware of the issue throughout that time.
The FDA reports that many of the samples of ranitidine products that it tested in 2019 had acceptable levels of NDMA. However, the agency has learned that these levels can increase significantly over time or when stored at temperatures that are hotter than room temperature.
What type of damages can be recovered through a Zantac lawsuit?
As with other product liability lawsuits, plaintiffs can seek to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to out-of-pocket expenses that are incurred as a result of the illness or injury, such as:
- Medical expenses, including diagnostic testing, physician services, hospitalization, and prescription medication.
- Loss of income due to being too sick to work or missing work to attend medical appointments related to the illness.
- Loss of future earning capacity if the individual becomes too sick to return to work at all.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses, including travel for treatment, and the cost of household services that the claimant formerly performed but is now too ill to do on his or her own.
Non-economic damages are the impacts that the illness has had on your life, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
Family members can also recover damages resulting from the death of a loved one who was diagnosed with cancer or another NDMA-associated disorder. Your attorney can explain the damages you are eligible to receive.
Can I pursue compensation from the maker of Zantac without an attorney?
As a practical matter, no. Consider the expense and complexity of filing a lawsuit against a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company. The manufacturers of this dangerous drug will undoubtedly have legal counsel working to defend them against the labyrinthine issues in this product liability case. You will need your own lawyer to protect you.
Your attorney can provide you with valuable services in the process of recovering compensation, including:
- Guidance as to your legal options.
- Experience with MDLs and product liability cases.
- The timely filing of all court-required paperwork for your case in the proper jurisdiction.
- A determination of the value of your case based on the economic and non-economic impacts you have suffered as a result of your illness.
- The collection and organization of evidence that can prove the link between your use of ranitidine and your diagnosis.
- Skilled negotiation on your behalf to obtain a settlement that will provide you with fair compensation.
- Attendance at all pre-trial hearings.
- Instead of a settlement, litigation of your case in court.
- Assistance collecting your award or settlement.
- Further representation of your case if the defendants choose to appeal.
Talk to our experienced Zantac lawyers about your case.
What to Do After A Zantac-Related Cancer Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition such as cancer is scary enough on its own. Discovering that this diagnosis may be related to a medication you took creates a whole other layer of complexity. If you used prescription or over-the-counter Zantac or other ranitidine products for the treatment of digestive-related issues such as ulcers, GERD, acid indigestion, or heartburn and were later diagnosed with cancer, read on for more information about the steps you need to take to determine if you qualify for recovery of damages through a lawsuit.
Put Yourself First
The first thing you need to do after your cancer diagnosis is take care of you. Gather a team of supportive family and friends who know about the seriousness of your diagnosis and how difficult cancer treatment is on the body. Make a list of those who are ready and willing to help.
Ask them for help when you need it. Cancer treatment can result in individuals feeling a whole lot worse before they get better due to the use of chemotherapy and other medications as well as any surgery that is required.
In addition to your physical health, pay attention to your mental health and seek professional help if you are struggling with your diagnosis or your treatment.
Zantac Lawsuits and General Eligibility
There are, at this point, no hard and fast rules about who is or is not eligible for a Zantac lawsuit filed in Federal Court.
- Did you take Zantac or another drug containing ranitidine? You must prove that you used ranitidine through receipts from the store or pharmacy where you purchased the drug, by notations in your medical records that indicate a physician told you to try the over-the-counter formula, through pharmacy and medical records if you were prescribed the medication, or through the testimony of witnesses who are aware of your ranitidine use.
- How long did you take the medication? NDMA, the probable carcinogen found in ranitidine drugs, is suspected of causing cancer and other potentially fatal conditions when the individual has taken high doses over time. To qualify for a lawsuit, you must show that you used the product daily over at least three months.
- What is your diagnosis? You must have an illness associated with NDMA exposure.
- How much time passed between starting the use of Zantac and your diagnosis? If you started taking Zantac a week before your diagnosis, then it is likely that your illness is not related to the drug. Cancer takes time to develop after an individual has been exposed to a toxic substance. This is called the latency period and it is different for various types of cancer. A good guideline: If you took you took ranitidine for at least a year before your cancer diagnosis, call us to see if you have a valid ranitidine lawsuit.
Note that these are not the only things you need to prove for your case to be eligible for a Zantac lawsuit, but these are the initial elements that you need to prove.
Talk to a Zantac Lawyer About Your Case
Once you have determined that you meet the general eligibility criteria above, it is time to talk to a lawyer about your case. Not all personal injury lawyers are taking Zantac cases or have experience in this type of case. Find a personal injury attorney who has experience with MDL product liability cases such as this one—such as ours do.
Many times, individuals shy away from the notion of speaking to an attorney because they do not think that they can afford one. One good thing about speaking to a Zantac lawyer is that you can obtain a free case evaluation. This is a time for you to discuss your case with the attorney, receive answers to your legal questions, determine if this is the attorney that you feel is right for your case, and come away with an idea of what your legal options are.
Another good thing about Zantac lawyers is that, if you decide to hire one to fight for your right to recover compensation, your attorney will be working on a contingent fee basis. What this means is that you do not have to pay for your attorney’s services until there is a successful outcome to your case. Between the free case evaluation and the contingent fee, everyone who needs an experienced Zantac lawyer can afford one.
During your case evaluation, you will want to ask the attorney several questions to evaluate his or her experience with this type of case.
Some questions that you should ask include:
- How long has the lawyer been practicing personal injury law?
- Has the lawyer ever been involved in representing clients in a products liability case involving defective medication or the failure to warn consumers of risks associated with the product?
- What is the lawyer’s experience with Zantac cases specifically?
- Would the lawyer you’re speaking to be handling the case personally, or will it be passed to another attorney?
Some of the items you will want to gather for your attorney include:
- Proof that you used Zantac regularly, proof that you were diagnosed with an NDMA-associated illness, and proof of the latency period of at least one year between the first time you consumed ranitidine and the diagnosis.
- A list of the expenses you have incurred as a result of your illness. This can include medical bills, pay stubs that show your income and timesheets or other employment records showing a loss of wages, medical evaluations that include your prognosis, and receipts for household services that you paid someone to do because you were too sick to perform those tasks on your own.
- The date of your diagnosis with an NDMA-associated illness. This information is not only important for determining the latency period between starting to use the drug and the diagnosis, but it is also important to your attorney due to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in product liability cases differs wildly between jurisdictions, but often the time you have to file a lawsuit in a case involving the development of a relatively slow-forming illness begins on the day you received your diagnosis.
Once you have decided which lawyer you would like to represent you in your Zantac case and the lawyer has determined that you have a case, the lawyer will then determine all sources of liability. He or she will file a complaint against the liable parties in court, and the discovery phase of the legal process will begin.
During the discovery phase, your lawyer will be required to share the medical records that pertain to your case with the defense. To allow your medical records to be shared with the defense, you will be required to sign an authorization for the release of this information.
In the discovery process, the defendant can order an independent medical evaluation to have another physician examine the plaintiff to ensure that the diagnosis was correct. If an independent medical evaluation is requested in your case, your attorney will arrange this examination for you and will protect you from being asked to perform medical tests that are not related to your claims.
Throughout your case, your attorney will be negotiating with the defendant’s legal counsel in the attempt to settle your case out of court. The vast majority of product liability cases settle. However, whether you choose to accept a settlement offer is a decision that only you can make, based on your own needs and the guidance of your attorney.
Are There Reasons Why a Zantac Lawyer Might Decline a Case?
Yes. Some of those reasons include:
- Your case is impossible to prove. If you can’t verify the extended use of ranitidine, a diagnosis of an NDMA-linked illness, or the link between the two, your lawyer may not accept your case. Your attorney, however, may have additional suggestions for how to prove one of these elements, particularly the use of over-the-counter Zantac in which you do not have receipts.
- Your damages are not large enough to make pursuing the case worthwhile for you or the attorney. Certain medical conditions that ranitidine-containing products caused will not result in enough expenses to warrant the cost of litigation. However, the majority of illnesses associated with NDMA exposure are both life-threatening and life-altering in nature.
- The lawyer does not have the time or resources to devote to your case. The cost of pursuing damages in this type of case is extraordinary, but the lawyer incurs these expenses unless you recover compensation. Hire an attorney—like the ones at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A., who works on contingency and has the time and resources to fight for compensation for an illness that a drug manufacturer’s negligence caused you.
Let Our Experienced Zantac Cancer Attorneys Help
Our firm was founded in 2009. The award-winning attorneys that comprise this law firm are proud of the reputation they have earned as zealous advocates for the rights of injured and ill clients. The mass tort and catastrophic injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A., have in excess of 110 years of combined experience handling serious injury claims.
With experience in mass tort MDL cases, our firm features lawyers and team members dedicated to quality service and an earnest commitment to fight for the compensation our clients need and deserve.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA – Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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