By now, the story is predictable. A trusted drug, previously approved by the FDA, now found to cause unspeakable harm.

Drugs used to treat obesity, later found to cause heart defects. Drugs used for pain relief later found to be addictive and deadly. Birth control implants that cause internal damage.

Then, the familiar lawsuits against the manufacturer of the dangerous drug. The reason this story is predictable is because of the ongoing imperfection of drug manufacturers and government agencies.

When innocent patients are injured by defective drugs, the American legal system provides them the opportunity to recover the damages associated with their injury. Defective drugs are the unfortunate side effect of a robust pharmaceutical injury. However, manufacturers are still responsible for injuries caused by their drugs to patients who take them.

OTC Drug Zantac Linked to Carcinogen NDMA

Now, Zantac, a popular over-the-counter heartburn drug, has been linked to a cancer-causing chemical. The suspected carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) is N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The FDA acknowledged the link in September 2019.

NDMA has been linked to ranitidine. Ranitidine is the acid-reducing component of Zantac and its generics.

Ranitidine is used to treat:

It is also used to treat other conditions where it is desirable to reduce gastric acid secretion and output.

What is NDMA?

NDMA is a chemical found in natural sources, like food, and synthetic sources, like industrial processes. It is a known environmental contaminant and is found in some food and water sources.

But NDMA is capable of modifying human DNA. For this reason, it is classified as a carcinogen or possible cancer-causing agent.

Effects of Exposure to NDMA

Animal studies demonstrate the effects of exposure to NDMA, including acute toxicity (poisoning), gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and harmful effects on the lungs and kidneys in rats. In humans, cases of intentional poisoning with NDMA have led to dangerous liver damage and internal bleeding.

Some symptoms of overexposure to NDMA include:

NDMA is a “probable carcinogen,” which means there is no definitive evidence that it causes cancer, but there is strong evidence of a carcinogenic effect. NDMA has been linked to cancers of the stomach, small intestine, colon, esophagus, and liver.

Zantac Recall and Lawsuits

Once the FDA realized the toxic and potentially carcinogenic impacts of Zantac and its generics that contain ranitidine, it issued a drug recall. During the years it sat on the shelf as a trusted drug, untold numbers of patients were exposed to Zantac and its generics.

Not every user of Zantac or its ranitidine-containing generics will suffer from the overexposure of NDMA. Every patient whose doctor has instructed them to a regimen of Zantac or its generics should discuss the risks with their doctor.

In situations where users of Zantac or its ranitidine-containing generics experience the harmful side effects of NDMA, there may be a claim for personal injury. Since the Zantac litigation has been consolidated, any claimants should contact an experienced attorney without delay. You might have the right to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and suffering.