As of February 27, 2020, the FDA continues to alert healthcare professionals and patients alike about the recall of Zantac, generic name Ranitidine. If you or a loved one have recently taken Zantac, this announcement may be cause for concern. In particular, you may wonder if it is safe to continue taking Zantac or even whether previous doses could endanger you now.
What Has the FDA Released So Far?
In September 2019, FDA testing revealed that Zantac contained low levels of a chemical known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is considered an environmental contaminant potentially present in soil air or water, meaning that it may be present in some foods or medicines. NDMA is considered a probable carcinogen and may cause cancer.
While NDMA’s classification as a probable carcinogen stems from animal studies, the FDA released that above a certain threshold, the NDMA found in drugs containing Ranitidine – including Zantac – has the potential to cause cancer in humans. Therefore, the FDA has instructed companies to recall Ranitidine drugs if NDMA exceeds 96 mg in the recommended daily dosage of the drug. To date, multiple companies, including Zantac parent company Sanofi, have recalled Ranitidine products.
What Are the Potential Problems?
Zantac and other Ranitidine containing drugs were created to prevent acid reflux issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic heartburn. While some formulations of the drug are available over the counter, other stronger formulations are available by prescription only and are meant to treat more severe cases of acid reflux. The drug works as a histamine (H2) blocker, meant to prevent the stomach from releasing too much acid.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that excessive amounts of NDMA in the system may lead to colorectal and other cancers. While the FDA has instructed individual companies to perform their own testing, independent research has concluded that the actual amount of NDMA in Zantac may grossly exceed FDA limits. If this is the case, Zantac use may have led to instances of cancer.
What Should You Do?
The FDA is not currently instructing patients to stop taking Zantac. However, since other H2 inhibitors have not been found to include NDMA, the FDA advises patients to speak with a physician about making a switch. In the meantime, the FDA will continue to provide regular updates regarding its test results.
If you or a loved one developed cancer after taking Zantac, speak with a reputable attorney regarding the potential for an individual or class action lawsuit. Depending on your case, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Co., L.P.A are accomplished in harmful drug cases and can assist you in pursuing any necessary legal action – call us at (419) 843-6663 or complete our online contact form for more information or a free consultation.