Zantac and its manufacturer Sanofi are under harsh scrutiny – and potentially facing a wave of lawsuits, perhaps through multidistrict litigation (MDL) – after it was announced that the popular heartburn medication could cause cancer with regular use. Zantac can be purchased off-the-shelf, over-the-counter (OTC), or with a prescription to treat heartburn and chronic indigestion. The drug relies on ranitidine as an active ingredient, but studies show ranitidine could lead to stomach, bladder, kidney, and intestinal cancers.
When ranitidine comes into contact with water, such as the naturally-occurring water inside the human digestive tract, it can undergo a chemical compound change, forming N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). It is NDMA that has been linked to various types of cancers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers NDMA a possible carcinogen.
If you are taking prescription Zantac, please see your doctor before discontinuing use. There may be alternative medicines without ranitidine to treat your heartburn and indigestion symptoms.
How Dangerous is Zantac?
A standard strength Zantac tablet is 75 milligrams. Maximum strength tablets are twice that amount, up to 150 milligrams per dosage. In 2016, a Stanford University study found that consuming just 150 milligrams of Zantac could produce around 47,000 nanograms of NDMA in the urine within the same day. To put that into perspective, the FDA warns there may be a cancer risk for anyone exposed to just 96 nanograms of NDMA in a 24-hour period.
The problem of the ranitidine in Zantac producing NDMA is so significant, a 2017 study found evidence that suggests wastewater – i.e. flushed urine from Zantac users – could be contributing to an NDMA increase in municipal potable water due to soil contamination and inefficient wastewater treatments.
People who have used Zantac frequently and for years have an inordinate number of cancer diagnoses, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer
Is Sanofi Liable for Cancers Caused by Zantac?
A medication’s cancer risk does not make that drug’s manufacturer automatically liable for damages caused to users. The problem with Zantac and Sanofi is the lack of transparency and information given to consumers about ranitidine and NDMA. Studies dating back to 2004 concluded that Zantac use can cause bladder cancer due to ranitidine producing large quantities of NDMA in the body. However, there has been no widespread effort from Sanofi to bring this information to the public’s attention.
Even as word spreads throughout news headlines about Zantac’s dangers, the product’s own official website does not address the cancer risk. It lists some side effects like “vomiting with blood” and alludes to a “serious condition,” but says nothing more. As a result, Sanofi is being targeted by lawsuits not for making a dangerous drug, but for knowingly selling one without warning consumers appropriately.
How to File a Lawsuit After Using Zantac
Not everyone who has used Zantac will be eligible to file a claim against Sanofi in pursuit of damages. The strongest claims will come from people who have been diagnosed with bladder, stomach, kidney, or similar cancers, and who have evidence of long-term Zantac use, like a prescription.
At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, our team of trial attorneys is currently hearing from Zantac users from around the country to help determine if they are eligible to file a claim. Depending on how the story develops, a mass tort or class action could soon develop against Sanofi by thousands of people nationwide. As highly experienced injury lawyers with a focus on multidistrict litigation and major cases, we can help you get ready to file your own Zantac lawsuit, too.
Please call (888) 367-7160 or contact us online to take the first step in demanding justice from Zantac for causing your cancer and hardships.