Two new studies published by the online pharmacy Valisure have confirmed that patients who use the heartburn drug Zantac and its generic equivalent, ranitidine, face an increased risk of developing cancer. The increased risk is due to a carcinogenic chemical that forms in patients stomachs when Zantac or ranitidine are ingested. Both heartburn medications were recalled in 2019 after Valisure alerted the public that patients who used the drugs were at risk of developing cancer due to their chemical contamination.
Hundreds of lawsuits against the manufacturers of Zantac and ranitidine have already been filed by patients diagnosed with cancer after using these drugs. Experts have predicted that thousands of cases involving the two heartburn drugs could eventually be filed.
Studies Link Zantac, Ranitidine to Increased Cancer Risk
The first study, published by Valisure in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, looked at how Zantac and ranitidine can become contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Using liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS), researchers examined how Zantac and ranitidine reacted when they were exposed to concentrations of acid similar to what is found in the human stomach.
The researchers found that when the two heartburn drugs were exposed to acid levels similar to what is found in the human stomach, Zantac and ranitidine produced a chemical reaction that produced up to 320 micrograms of NDMA — more than 3,300-times more than the limit of what is considered safe for human consumption.
A science officer at the online pharmacy stated that “Valisure detected NDMA in every brand and every dosage form of ranitidine that we tested whether over the counter or prescription and regardless of manufacturer.”
A second study, posted on the preprint server MedRxiv, examined the medical histories of more than 10,000 cancer patients. Researchers examined these patients’ use of ranitidine compared to other common heartburn drugs in order to determine the link between this medication and an increased cancer risk.
The Valisure researchers found that patients who had used Zantac or ranitidine were more likely to develop breast cancer, thyroid cancer, bladder cancer, or prostate cancer than patients who had used other heartburn drugs.
Lawsuits Filed Against Drugmakers, Pharmacies After Zantac Recall
In the wake of Valisure’s 2019 announcement that Zantac and ranitidine users could face an increased cancer risk because of the contamination of these drugs with NDMA, drugmakers and pharmacies across the globe began recalling these medications.
In addition to recalls by pharmaceutical companies such as Actavis, Aurobindo, Hetero/Camber, Macleods Pharmaceutical, Mylan, Sanofi, Teva, and Torrent, the two heartburn drugs were also pulled from stores by CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and other pharmacy locations.
Because of the link between ranitidine and cancer and the widespread use of these drugs, hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against Sanofi or other drugmakers by patients who were diagnosed with cancer after using Zantac or ranitidine. Legal experts have predicted that thousands of lawsuits will eventually be filed in connection with this litigation.
The Zantac and ranitidine lawsuits that have been filed so far allege that the companies who manufactured the heartburn drugs knew or should have known about the cancer risks of these medications, but failed to properly warn doctors and patients about their dangers. In fact, evidence uncovered in one Zantac lawsuit uncovered evidence that researchers at GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Zantac, uncovered evidence that the drug could cause cancer nearly 40 years ago, but chose to dismiss these concerns rather than alerting the public.
Free Legal Consultation for Zantac, Ranitidine Users With Cancer
If you or a loved one used the heartburn medications Zantac or ranitidine (either in prescription form or over-the-counter) and were diagnosed with breast cancer, thyroid cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, or other types of cancer, you may qualify to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who can help answer your questions about the process of filing a lawsuit.
For more information about whether you may qualify to file a Zantac or ranitidine lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend to schedule your free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.
After we receive your message, one of our staff members will contact you to help you schedule your free attorney consultation.