Sanofi has announced that it is recalling the popular heartburn drug Zantac OTC. The drugmaker made the announcement following tests that found that Zantac was contaminated with a chemical impurity that can increase the risk of cancer.
Zantac (ranitidine) is part of a class of medications known as “histamine H2-receptor antagonists.” These drugs – also known as H2 blockers – are designed to reduce the production of stomach acid in order to treat patients with heartburn, acid reflux, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, or other conditions caused by excess stomach acid. Zantac was originally marketed as a prescription drug, but is now sold in an over-the-counter formulation.
In 2018, tests on the blood pressure drug Valsartan found that the medication was contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that was originally used to make rocket fuel. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that patients who are exposed to NDMA may face an increased risk of developing cancer, including colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, and stomach cancer.
Following this announcement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began testing other medications in order to determine whether they too may be contaminated with NDMA. In October 2019, the FDA announced that it had found “unacceptable” levels of NDMA in Zantac and its generic equivalent, ranitidine, putting patients who used these drugs at an increased risk of developing cancer.
Several drugmakers recalled Zantac and ranitidine over concerns about the safety of these medications following the FDA’s warning. Novartis AG’s Sandoz division announced that it was recalling generic ranitidine in September 2019, and GlaxoSmithKline followed suit with prescription formulations of Zantac in October.
Several pharmacy chains have also recalled Zantac and ranitidine. In September 2019, CVS announced that it would stop selling Zantac and its own generic version of ranitidine. Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have also stopped selling Zantac and ranitidine in response to concerns about the cancer risk associated with these drugs.
Sanofi Issues Zantac Recall Over Cancer Concerns
Sanofi stated that it was recalling Zantac OTC following test results that showed evidence of potential contamination. The drugmaker stated that it would perform additional tests on Zantac and share the results with the FDA and other health regulators.
Sanofi’s recall of Zantac will involve medications that are sold in both the U.S. and Canada, the drugmaker says. The company stated that it is currently working with health regulators in both countries to determine the extent of the recall.
Free Legal Consultation for Zantac & Rantidine Users With Cancer
If you or a loved one used prescription or over-the-counter versions of Zantac or ranitidine and were diagnosed with cancer, you may qualify to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to consult with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights.
The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend have filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured by dangerous drugs. Our attorneys have also represented clients who were harmed by dangerous medical device, defective consumer products, and other product liability matters.
For more information about filing a lawsuit involving Zantac or ranitidine, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-274-4454, or by answering a few simple questions in our contact form located on the right side of this page.