Zantac, also known as ranitidine, is a medication used by many people to treat symptoms and discomfort of heartburn. While this medication seems useful at first glance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discovered in 2019 that Zantac had been contaminated with a carcinogen known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). In April of 2020, the FDA recalled all Zantac that was out on shelves and wanted users of the NDMA contamination. At the Holman Law Firm, we know how scary it can be when you come to the realization that your medication puts your life at risk. We are dedicated to representing you against big pharmaceutical companies that are not likely to have your best interests at heart. Don’t let fear of fighting a big pharmaceutical company in court stop you from receiving the results that you deserve. If you’ve taken Zantac and have suffered adverse health conditions or been diagnosed with cancer, read below to learn more about your options and don’t hesitate to call the Holman Law Firm at 850-435-6909 to schedule a consultation.
What is NDMA?
Before understanding your mass tort case against Zantac, it’s important to understand what is harmful about Zantac medication and it’s side effects. NDMA is a chemical compound used for fuel and industrial lubes. Additionally, NDMA is a chemical byproduct of many processes including the treatment of wastewater and refining gasoline.
One particular use for NDMA is particularly concerning knowing that Zantac has been contaminated with this substance. NDMA is also used for starting carcinogenesis in lab rats for cancer research. There is a federal law in place known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 that lists NDMA as an extremely hazardous substance. This means that there are incredibly strict requirements for the use and storage of NDMA.
What Adverse Health Outcomes are Linked to Zantac and NDMA?
Not only does NDMA cause cancer in individuals who are exposed to it, but it’s also a hepatotoxin. This means that NDMA causes liver damage after short-term and long-term exposure, but increased exposure to NDMA means that the exposed individual is at a significantly higher risk for tumors in their liver, kidneys, and lungs. Symptoms that arise as a result of exposure to NDMA include reduced liver, kidney, and lung function, dizziness, abdominal pain, nausea, fever, headache, jaundice, and an enlarged liver.
Additional long-term health impacts that have been associated with the use of Zantac include:
- An irregular/rapid heartbeat
- Hair loss
- Higher risk of pneumonia
- Liver failure
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Disorders in the nervous system
- Low levels of platelets in your blood
Zantac Lawsuit History and Information
After the FDA discovered the NDMA contamination of Zantac in 2019, the first lawsuit was filed against the manufacturers of Zantac. The plaintiffs claimed that Zantac’s manufacturers marketed and sold a product that they either knew or should have known was contaminated with the cancer causing chemical compound NDMA.
The events that lead to the contamination of Zantac with NDMA is still unclear and is currently under investigation by the NDMA. However, during the time that Zantac was being manufactured, there was concrete scientific evidence that there was a clear link between the active ingredient in Zantac (ranitidine) and NDMA. These scientific studies showed evidence that when water comes into contact with ranitidine, NDMA is formed through the resulting chemical reaction. Of course, a very obvious problem with this is that many users take medication with water. Even though this evidence was readily available to the manufacturers of Zantac, this information was not disclosed to any of the parties invested in the success of the medication, including consumers or the FDA.
What Damages Could You Receive for Joining a Lawsuit Against Zantac?
As with any personal injury case, the amount and terms of your settlement depend on the severity of your condition or injury. Among the costs that could be included in your settlement are:
- Any past medical expenses you incurred as a result of your condition
- Any future medical expenses you incurred as a result of your condition
- Wages you lost as a result of your condition (if this applies)
- Punitive damages
- Past and potential pain and suffering (both mental and physical) that is a direct result of your condition
If the symptoms and conditions described in this article sound like ones you’ve experienced and you have been a long time user of Zantac, you should consider speaking with a mass tort attorney who can assist with your next steps. Please don’t hesitate to call the Holman Law Firm at 850-435-6909 to schedule a consultation.