In Indianapolis, personal injury law firms have years of experience helping victims who were injured by Zantac, an OTC medication for heartburn, file a lawsuit for their damages. The pharmaceutical company responsible for making Zantac hid important information about the medication from consumers to protect its profits. They failed to inform users that Zantac could cause them to develop cancer. Over the years, this unconscionable choice has resulted in serious injuries and death. The makers of Zantac need to be held responsible for their actions.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a test on more than 100 tablets of Zantac. The test showed that the tablets contained carcinogenic ingredients. The level of carcinogens found in the pills was more than 2,000 times the daily limit set by the agency. The compound found in Zantac that has carcinogenic properties is N-Nitrosodimethylamine, more commonly referred to as NDMA.
Other studies have shown a clear link between this carcinogen, Zantac, and a number of different types of cancer. Sadly, trustworthy evidence is available showing that pharmaceutical makers like Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi were aware of the carcinogenic properties of ranitidine hydrochloride (Zantac) but chose to hide the potential dangers from consumers rather than informing them of the risk.
Without that information, millions of people unwittingly put themselves at risk of developing cancer by taking Zantac for gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sour stomach, duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus, and other conditions.
By hiding this important information from consumers, Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi, the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured Zantac, brought in more than $1 billion from its sales. The drug was the first in its category to reach this level of sales.
Unfortunately, a number of users were injured as a result of the carcinogenic ingredients in Zantac. The only way these users can fight back for justice is by suing Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi for their deceptive actions surrounding Zantac.
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An Overview Of Zantac Including How It Is Used
The generic name for Zantac is ranitidine. The purpose of the drug is to lower the amount of stomach acid in the digestive tract. Prescription Zantac is available and is commonly used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, indigestion, intestinal ulcers, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and peptic ulcers.
The medication can also be purchased over the counter as a remedy for heartburn. Over the years, doctors frequently prescribed Zantac to treat digestive conditions like ulcers.
The drug was introduced to the United States in 1981. Over time, it climbed to the 50th most prescribed medication in the U.S.
Has The FDA Put Out Any Warnings About Zantac?
In September 2019, the first warning from the FDA about Zantac was announced. The FDA issued the warning after learning that the drug had carcinogenic properties. The carcinogen contained in Zantac is NDMA. Based on the tests, the level of carcinogens in Zantac exceeded the FDA’s approved levels by anywhere from 3,000 to 26,000 times.
Currently, the FDA limits carcinogenic levels to less than 100 nanograms. Testing revealed that a single Zantac pill could contain as much as 3 million nanograms of the carcinogenic ingredient NDMA. The over-the-counter version of Zantac is available in 150 mg pills, while the prescription version can be as high as 300 mg. With prescription Zantac, the dosage is usually one pill at bedtime for a period of anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks.
A claim filed by a plaintiff clearly demonstrated that Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim knew about the risk of cancer linked to Zantac. Despite that knowledge, they failed to alert healthcare professionals or consumers about the risks.
Other researchers have found that people who took Zantac have high concentrations of NDMA in their urine. These concentrations are more than 400 times higher than they would be if they hadn’t taken Zantac. Additional studies have shown that people would have chosen not to take the medication if they had known about the increased risk of developing cancer.
Has A Link Been Established Between Zantac And Cancer?
NDMA, the carcinogenic component found in Zantac, affects different bodily organs. In particular, it negatively impacts the liver. Exposure to this carcinogenic compound over time can cause a number of different medical problems to develop including:
- Scarring of the liver
- Bladder cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Tumors in the kidneys, liver, or lungs
- Liver fibrosis
NDMA has been classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Food and Drug Administration, as well as other regulatory agencies and medical partners, are researching the underlying source of the impurities in Zantac. By taking a closer look at ranitidine, they will be able to do a better job of identifying the specific risks that users of the medication were exposed to. The investigation into the medication doesn’t have a specific end date. As soon as it is over, however, the agency will take appropriate steps based on its findings.
Has The Drug Been Recalled?
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has not issued a recall to pharmaceutical companies for the drug. They also have not instructed retailers to pull the medication from their shelves. However, a number of retailers that sold the medication in the past have stopped selling it until additional testing has been completed.
Having said that, the data that is currently available seems to indicate that there is not enough NDMA present in Zantac to lead to the development of cancer in human beings. The compound, however, has been identified as a potential carcinogen. Additionally, exposure to the substance over a long period could increase the likelihood of developing cancer in humans.
Given this information, it is advisable to avoid taking Zantac for long stretches of time. Patients who require the medication to treat issues with their digestive tract are advised by the FDA to talk to their doctor about finding a safer option. Many other medications are available that offer the same benefits without the risk of being exposed to too much NDMA.
What Steps Are Involved In Filing A Zantac Lawsuit?
A number of class-action lawsuits have been filed in the US since there are so many users who experienced NDMA exposure. Users who were diagnosed with cancer – especially bladder or stomach cancer – after taking Zantac could be eligible for compensation. Some of the damages they may be able to claim include:
- Lost income or a loss of the ability to earn
- Medical costs associated with injuries sustained as a result of taking Zantac
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- A loss of quality of life
Assuming it succeeds, a class action lawsuit can benefit other people who are suffering from the consequences of extended exposure to the carcinogen that the medication contains. Consumers like these could receive financial settlements to help with the cost of their medical expenses associated with exposure to the carcinogen. The settlement might also include money to make up for the loss of income.
Class action lawsuits like these will also help establish a precedent that forces pharmaceutical makers to adhere to stricter standards when labeling their products. It may also result in laws that help keep consumers from being exposed like this again in the future.
People who have used ranitidine and medical professionals are asked to notify MedWatch about any negative effects associated with the medication. This agency documents the dangers associated with this medicine.
How Can a Lawyer Help my Zantac Lawsuit?
Zantac lawsuits are handled in the same way as any other type of personal injury case. Before you file your lawsuit, you should develop a better understanding of the steps involved in the process. The first step that you should take is to hire a personal injury lawyer who has previous experience handling cases involving pharmaceutical companies and medication.
In situations where Zantac led to the death of someone you love, you will also need to look for a lawyer who is experienced with wrongful death cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can use their expertise to help you build a strong lawsuit that is likely to succeed. By drawing on their previous experience, they can help you avoid any common pitfalls while ensuring that your case is presented in the strongest, most compelling way possible.
The personal injury lawyer who is handling your case will go over the details with you carefully to figure out which parties are responsible for your injuries. Your role in the process is to gather as much evidence as possible to document your claim. This evidence, which will be presented in your lawsuit, is essential for identifying all of the damages you are owed.
People who have been injured in cases like these can also sue for punitive and compensatory damages. Your attorney will help you figure out exactly how much you are owed, making careful calculations to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
At Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers, we have qualified attorneys standing by to help you with your Zantac case.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries or died as a result of taking Zantac, contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers right away. We provide free consultations without any further obligation on your part. If we agree to take your case, you won’t be charged for our services unless we help you win. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Contact us today to discuss your options. After examining the details of your case, our lawyers will be able to advise you on what steps you should take to get the compensation you are owed.