What to Know About the Zantac Recall and How to Get Legal Help
Zantac & Ranitidine Recall Information
Over 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month; 15 million experience this every day. Considering it’s such a common condition, we trust that the medications out there are safe for us to use.
But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. What may seem like an innocent packet sitting in your medicine cabinet can be something secretly nefarious.
In this case, we’re talking about Zantac. Keep reading to find out what exactly Zantac is, what the Zantac recall is, and what you can do about it if you think you’ve been affected.
What Is Zantac?
Zantac is an over-the-counter medication created by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi and it’s used to relieve heartburn; it’s effective in treating gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
If you don’t recognize this name, then perhaps you’ve been buying the generic version of it: ranitidine. The Zantac recall also includes ranitidine, considering it has the same chemical makeup.
What Is the Zantac Recall?
Basically, on October 18, 2019, Sanofi announced they’d voluntarily recall their Zantac medication from shelves. This included Zantac 150, Zantac 150 Cool Mint, and Zantac 75.
Why did this happen? Because the FDA found there were small amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in both ranitidine and Zantac.
What Is NDMA?
NDMA is considered a carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer to develop in your body. As you can imagine, if you’ve been taking Zantac for many years, cancer might have resulted from long-term use.
How does NDMA get into the medication? Well, it’s naturally found in the environment. However, it can also form through either industrial or chemical processes.
This means you can find NDMA in a number of places and things, such as your water, cigarette smoke, and even foods (like cured meat) and cosmetic products (like shampoos). You might even create some in your body when you metabolize Zantac.
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Timeline for the Zantac Recall
Are you curious about the entire timeline for the Zantac recall? Then keep reading, as we’ll show you how this recall came to be.
2015: NDMA Linked to Gastric Cancer
In 2015, a study on NDMA (as well as other dietary nitrates and nitrites) found that people who ingested more NDMA had a higher chance of developing gastric cancer. Those who ingested “high” amounts of NDMA had a 34% higher risk.
This may sound like a lot, but in the scientific world, an odds ratio (OR) of under 2 isn’t seen as particularly alarming. For NDMA, its OR was 1.34, which meant the link between NDMA and cancer was shaky at best.
January 2012 – June 2017: Danish Study on People Taking Valsartan
Valsartan is an active ingredient found in blood pressure medication; it’s the active ingredient that treats heart failure and blood pressure. In this study, there was no significant increase in cancer cases with people taking valsartan, which was contaminated with NDMA.
July 2018: Voluntary Recall for Drugs With Valsartan
Back in July 2018, the FDA issued a voluntary recall for drugs that contained valsartan since they were contaminated with NDMA. Although the Danish study above didn’t see an increased rate of cancer, this voluntary recall erred on the side of caution.
2019: NDMA Linked to Pancreatic Cancer
This study found that people who had a “high” NDMA intake had a 93% great chance of developing pancreatic cancer.
Again, this number sounds shockingly high, but this gives it an OR of 1.93, which is still under 2.
September 2019: First Statement About NDMA in Ranitidine
The FDA releases a statement about NDMA contamination in ranitidine. This leads to the voluntary recall fo Sandoz ranitidine capsules. In late September, the FDA lets both health care professionals and their patients know about the voluntary recall.
October 2019: Zantac Recall
In this month, Sanofi announced their voluntary recall of Zantac.
November 2019: More Ranitidine Recalls
In November 2019, Aurobindo recalled both their prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine products.
What Can I Do About the Zantac Recall?
First of all, if you’re currently still taking Zantac or ranitidine, cease use straight away. Ask your doctor for an alternative to Zantac. For example, Tagamet and Pepcid don’t have NDMA contamination.
If you have serious issues with heartburn, then discuss proton pump inhibitors with your doctor. These include Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid; all these medications don’t have NDMA contamination.
Currently, experts are saying the chances of developing cancer from Zantac are extremely low, as the amounts of NDMA found in it are about the same as the amount you’d find in the foods you eat every day.
However, this is not to say that it’s impossible to develop cancer from your Zantac usage. If you’ve had changes in your health recently (such as unintentional weight loss, bloody/tarry stool, weakness, fatigue, or worsening abdominal pain), it’s best to see your doctor to see what the cause is. If it’s an unfortunate diagnosis of cancer, then you might want to start thinking about getting some legal counsel against Sanofi.
Class action lawsuits can take quite some time, so if you get started early, then you can hopefully get the financial recompense by the time you really need it, should your cancer actually be linked to Zantac. Experienced attorneys can advise you on the steps to take so you properly document your health and have all the evidence you need to prove the link between your cancer and Zantac.
Let Us Provide the Legal Help You Need
Now that you have more information about the Zantac recall, you may be concerned about developing cancer as a result of your Zantac usage. You may be especially worried if you’ve relied on using Zantac for heartburn relief over a long period of time.
While taking legal action won’t make the cancer and other related health problems disappear, it can at least give you some relief from financial burdens, such as hefty medical bills.
So in the future, if you receive a cancer diagnosis and your doctor feels it’s linked to Zantac, make sure you get some legal advice so you get the proper justice you deserve.
If you think you’ve been affected by the Zantac recall, then please get in touch with us. While we can’t guarantee results, we can certainly offer free legal advice and help you figure out your next steps. We’ll be there for you.