The primary claim in the Zantac lawsuit is that various manufacturers of the medicine failed to warn that ranitidine, its active ingredient, is unstable and can form NDMA, leading to increased cancer risk.
As a way to help you decide whether you might have a Zantac claim, this blog entry provides information in an FAQ format about Zantac, its relationship to cancer, and whether you might have a Zantac claim. Q&As include:
What is Zantac?
For what is Zantac prescribed?
How is Zantac delivered?
What led to the Zantac recall?
What is NDMA?
How does Zantac become contaminated with NDMA?
What are the common side effects of Zantac?
What other drugs contain ranitidine?
What is a good substitute for Zantac?
Who qualifies for a Zantac lawsuit?
What kind of cancer does Zantac allegedly cause?
Why should you hire a Zantac lawyer?
How long will a Zantac lawsuit take?
Who makes Zantac?
What is the cost to hire a Zantac attorney?
1. What is Zantac?
Zantac is an antacid that contained Ranitidine, a medication made by various manufacturers and used to decrease the production of stomach acid. It is commonly prescribed to treat peptic ulcer disease (see 2a), gastroesophageal reflux disease (see 2b), and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome (see 2c). (see source).
Zantac first came into commercial use in 1981. In the year 2019, according to the World Health Organization, it ranked 53rd among the most commonly prescribed meds in the U.S. This translates to 13,586,751 prescriptions in a single year across 3,781,812 patients (see source).
2. For what is Zantac prescribed?
Zantac is primarily prescribed for three conditions (see source):
2a) Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is a lesion in the first part of the small intestine, the inner lining of the stomach, or (less often) the lower esophagus.
2b) Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition wherein food and acid rise up into the esophagus, which can cause bad breath, breathing problems, chest pain, heartburn, regurgitation, tooth decay, and/or an acid taste in the back of the mouth.
2c) Zollinger–Ellison syndrome (Z-E syndrome) is characterized by tumors that cause the stomach to produce excess acid, thereby causing peptic ulcers, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea.
3. How is Zantac delivered?
Zantac is most often delivered orally. However, in some cases, it is administered by injection, either intravenously (see source) or intramuscularly (see source).
In oral (pill) form, Zantac has been available in both 150 and 300 mg capsules. Standard dosages are presented in the table below (see source):
4. What led to the Zantac recall?
Zantac—aka ranitidine—has been recalled in the U.S. because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found it to be contaminated with excessive levels of the probable carcinogen NDMA (see 5).
According to the EPA, the safe daily intake for NDMA is no more than 0.096 micrograms. But ranitidine products showed NDMA levels nine times greater, causing many manufacturers and retailers to recall Zantac and other products containing ranitidine (see source).
5. What is NDMA?
NDMA is the initialism for N-nitrosodimethylamine, which has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the EPA. This means there are inadequate data to say it definitively causes cancer, but the scientific evidence for its safety is not conclusive.
NDMA is yellow and odorless. It was once used to make rocket fuel. But this ended when unacceptably high levels of NDMA were found in water and soil samples nearby rocket engine testing facilities. NDMA is nowadays only produced in the U.S. for use in research. But its unexpected presence in Zantac has caused the sale of the medicine to be banned (see source).
The FDA has determined the safe daily intake of NDMA to be no more than 0.096 micrograms. But up to nine times that amount has been found in ranitidine products, of which Zantac is the most ubiquitous (see source).
6. How does Zantac become contaminated with NDMA?
Ranitidine—the main constituent of Zantac—is an unstable molecule that breaks down into NDMA over time. It does so in the stomach, in combination with certain foods, and/or in the presence of heat and moisture. As any or all of these three factors can contribute to the unwanted production of NDMA in Zantac, exposure to it is very different from person to person. Thus, some people develop cancer after using Zantac while others do not.
7. What are the common side effects of Zantac?
The ranitidine that comprises Zantac is an H2 histamine receptor antagonist, which means that it blocks histamine and thereby decreases the amount of acid released by stomach cells. Side effects tend to be mild, infrequent, and not long-lasting (see source). Among them:
Shortness of breath
8. What other drugs contain ranitidine?
Besides Zantac, other brand names contaminated with ranitidine include:
9. What is a good substitute for Zantac?
The FDA has listed several alternatives to Zantac. These include proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Nexium, as well as other H2 blockers such as Pepcid and Tagamet. Specific FDA-recommended alternatives to Zantac include (see source):
10. Who qualifies for a Zantac lawsuit?
There are minimally four conditions you need to meet in order to qualify for a Zantac lawsuit (see source):
Proof of usage. You need to provide proof that you took brand-name Zantac for at least one year prior to being diagnosed with Zantac cancer. If you were prescribed Zantac by a medical professional, then your prescription (or medical record) provides proof. But if you took over-the-counter Zantac, you might need receipts and/or other evidence that shows that you took the drug. This can include proof of participation in a Pharmacy Loyalty Program, a physician’s note, and similar evidence). A Zantac lawyer can advise you on what evidence to collect and how to do so.
Zantac cancer diagnosis. You must have a diagnosis of bladder, stomach, esophageal, liver, or pancreatic cancer.
Time requirements. It must be five years between the last time you took Zantac and your initial qualifying cancer diagnosis. Also, you must have been younger than 89 years when you first received the qualifying cancer diagnosis.
Statute of limitations. Different states have varying deadlines for filing personal injury claims, commonly between one and four years. But some states might have special deadlines for product liability litigations such as a Zantac cancer lawsuit. Your Zantac attorney can tell you if your state has a different deadline for filing a Zantac lawsuit. Remember: your Zantac lawsuit will be dismissed if you fail to meet the statute of limitations deadline.
11. What kind of cancer does Zantac allegedly cause?
NDMA ingestion might cause several types of cancer. These include bladder, breast, colon, esophageal, kidney, liver, pancreatic, prostate, and stomach cancers.
Zantac lawyers report that many of their clients have neither a family history nor any genetic markers for cancer. They also say that physicians treating these clients stress that there is a probable environmental cause for their respective cancers, and NDMA is an environmental contaminant (see source).
12. Why should you hire a Zantac lawyer?
If you or a loved-one qualify (see 7), you should hire Zantac lawyer to pursue your claim to be compensated for:
Loss of a loved one
Loss of companionship
Lost ability to earn
Pain and suffering
Travel for treatment
13. How long will a Zantac lawsuit take?
Although every case is different, a lawsuit such as the one involving Zantac generally proceeds through a number of stages.
A user of the medicine files a civil complaint in court and thereby becomes the plaintiff. The complaint is a document; it starts the lawsuit; and it lays out the plaintiff's case against the drug manufacturer, who is now the defendant. Sometimes there might be more than one defendant. E.g. the plaintiff might sue both the Zantac manufacturer and the Zantac retailer.
The defendant files an answer to the complaint. At this time, a Zantac lawsuit might be moved to the MDL, which combines large numbers of Zantac claims.
The discovery process starts, wherein the plaintiff and defendant(s) exchange information, medical records, and other evidence via plaintiff fact sheets, interrogatories, depositions, and requests for documents.
Pretrial motions are filed. Hearings are held. Both the plaintiff and the defendant(s) try to persuade the judge to permit or prohibit certain evidence (e.g. specific expert testimony), and/or dismiss the other side's argument in part or whole.
The trial happens. The plaintiff and defendant(s) explain their arguments to a judge or jury, who ultimately decides whether or not the defendant should be held liable and pay damages.
Note that the plaintiff and defendant(s) could discuss and agree upon a settlement anytime during the processes of 1 through 4—and no trial would occur.
14. Who makes Zantac?
Zantac is made by more than one manufacturer. Roche Laboratories and Glaxo Wellcome are primary among them. Others are GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Appco Pharma LLC, and Precision Dose Inc.
15. What is the cost to hire a Zantac attorney?
Galindo Zantac lawyers are helping clients nationwide fight against the manufacturers of Zantac, assisting them to recover compensation related to their cancer diagnosis and treatment.
This might include monetary damages due to lost wages, legal costs, court fees, health care bills, and more. A Galindo Zantac lawyer will help you determine if you qualify for a lawsuit.
Galindo Law does not charge any upfront or out-of-pocket fees. We are only paid a percentage of the compensation we are able to secure for you. So by working with Galindo Law, you incur zero financial risk.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, anyone with a qualifying cancer diagnosis and documented use of Zantac should consider speaking with a Zantac cancer lawyer about filing a claim.
Remember that proper compensation for your cancer-related damages is your right. You are not asking for charity. You deserve to be adequately compensated for your loss.
Or, if you prefer, email us.
Let us help you make an informed decision about your case. We will work on your case with honesty and integrity.
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