The latest study examining the potential health risks of Zantac, once a best-selling heartburn medication, appears to support previous findings that long-term exposure to the drug, which was removed from the market last year, may increase the risk of bladder cancer among users. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with bladder cancer or another type of cancer you believe to be linked to Zantac or its active ingredient, ranitidine, contact us right away to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the makers of Zantac, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for the harm you and your loved ones have suffered.
Zantac and other ranitidine-based medications have been widely used by millions of American consumers for decades to prevent and relieve heartburn, a common condition occurring when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and causes a burning sensation in the chest. Before it was recalled last year, Zantac was marketed as a safe and effective treatment for heartburn and other stomach acid-related problems, and many users took the medication for years, unaware that it presented any serious human health risks. Last year, however, federal regulators were compelled to remove all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine products (Zantac) from the market due to concerns about the presence of the carcinogenic chemical NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine), which has been attributed to the “inherent instability” of the ranitidine molecule.
The presence of potentially harmful levels of NDMA across all Zantac and ranitidine products was first detected by the independent pharmacy Valisure during routine testing of its drug inventory. The pharmacy notified the FDA of its findings in June 2019 and then filed a petition with the FDA in September 2019, calling for a nationwide Zantac recall due to dangerously high levels of NDMA, which is categorized as a probable human carcinogen. According to the FDA, NDMA is present in certain foods and water and low levels of the chemical may be ingested in a person’s diet. “These low levels would not be expected to lead to an increase in the risk of cancer,” the FDA stated in its Zantac recall announcement last year. “However, sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans.”
Because Zantac has been around since the 1980s, it is possible that heartburn sufferers who took the medication regularly have been exposed to an increased risk of cancer from Zantac for decades. The cancer most commonly associated with Zantac use is bladder cancer, a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the bladder. In this latest study of Zantac and its potential to cause cancer, published earlier this month in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers found that the use of ranitidine (Zantac), particularly long-term use, was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. In fact, the study participants who took Zantac were 22% more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to those who did not take the heartburn medication, and the risk was even higher (43%) among users who took the drug for more than three years.
With each research study that establishes a potential link between Zantac and cancer, the number of product liability lawsuits filed by former Zantac users who were diagnosed with cancer continues to grow. The plaintiffs in the nationwide Zantac cancer litigation allege that long-term exposure to the carcinogen NDMA in Zantac caused them to develop bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, or other cancers. As the investigation into the potential adverse health effects of Zantac use continues, it is expected that tens of thousands of lawsuits will ultimately be brought against the makers of Zantac and other ranitidine-based drugs by former users and their loved ones. For more information about the growing Zantac cancer litigation, or to find out how to file a legal claim, contact Consumer Safety Watch today.