Several national pharmacy chains pulled Zantac from stores over concerns the heartburn drug and its generic equivalent, ranitidine, may cause cancer. CVS, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, and other pharmacies voluntarily recalled Zantac and ranitidine after an FDA warning that they were contaminated with a chemical that could increase the risk of cancer for patients who use the drugs.
Zantac and ranitidine are part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. This class of medications is designed to lower stomach acid in patients with acid reflux, heartburn, peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or other gastrointestinal disorders.
In 2018, tests on the blood pressure medication Valsartan showed that the drug was contaminated with a chemical known as NDMA. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to NDMA can increase the risk of cancer in humans, including colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, and stomach cancer.
After Valsartan was recalled by the FDA, the agency and other organizations began testing other medications to determine whether they might also be contaminated with NDMA. In 2019, the online pharmacy Valisure warned the FDA that it had discovered “extremely high levels” of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine.
Pharmacies Recall Zantac and Ranitidine Over Cancer Concerns
Following Valisure’s announcement, the FDA issued a warning that Zantac and ranitidine could increase the risk of cancer in patients who used these drugs. Several manufacturers of the heartburn drugs – including Actavis, Aurobindo, Hetero/Camber, Macleods Pharmaceutical, Mylan, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Torrent Pharmaceuticals – recalled these medications following the FDA’s warning.
Concerns about the cancer risk of Zantac and ranitidine have also prompted several nationwide pharmacy chains to pull the drugs from stores. In September 2019, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens announced that they would stop selling Zantac and generic ranitidine. The following month, Walmart also announced that it would pull the drug from sales.
Over the past several months, several other retailers have also pulled Zantac and ranitidine from sales. Target, Kroger, and many other pharmacies and grocery stores have also removed the heartburn from shelves following the FDA’s warning. These recalls include both prescription versions of Zantac and generic versions of the drug, as well as formulations of ranitidine that are sold generically or under each retailer’s brand label.
Lawsuits Filed by Zantac and Ranitidine Users With Cancer
The first Zantac lawsuit was filed against Sanofi after the FDA’s warning about the heartburn drug. The lawsuit alleged that manufactures of Zantac of selling a product that they knew or should have known was contaminated with a chemical that could increase patients’ risk of developing cancer.
In the wake of the first lawsuit over the cancer risk of Zantac and ranitidine, several other lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of these drugs. The lawsuits include a class action lawsuit on behalf of patients who used Zantac and ranitidine and were later diagnosed with cancer.
Legal experts say that as many as 80,000 cancer cases per year could be linked to Zantac and ranitidine. As a result, these experts say that hundreds of thousands of lawsuits could eventually be filed on behalf of patients who were diagnosed with cancer after using these heartburn medications.
Free Legal Consultation for Zantac and Ranitidine Diagnosed With Cancer
If you or a loved one used Zantac or ranitidine and were diagnosed with cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights and walk you through the first steps in filing a claim.
The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend have represented thousands of patients and consumers who have been injured by the side effects of dangerous drugs, defects with medical devices, and other hazardous commercial products. At Hissey, Mulderig & Friend, our attorneys believe that all individuals should have the right to experienced legal counsel to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
For more information about whether you may be eligible to file a Zantac or ranitidine lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by answering a few questions on our free case evaluation form, which is located on the right side of this page.