Zantac (ranitidine) was a popular antacid medication used by millions since its introduction in 1981. It went on to become a big seller by 1987 and reached the over-the-counter market in 2004. Then in 2019, Zantac maker Sandoz voluntarily pulled the product from the shelves and generic manufacturers followed suit. The FDA then asked for an immediate withdrawal of all products containing ranitidine from the market due to the discovery of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a contaminate that is linked to cancer. Now a Zantac class action lawsuit has been formed on behalf of individuals who may have developed cancer from long-term use of Zantac.
How Zantac Works
Zantac is a class of drugs known as an H2 receptor antagonists. It’s a type of antihistamine for stomach acid and works by blocking the H2 receptors in the stomach. When the H2 receptors are blocked, they can’t react, and won’t produce stomach acid in response to certain foods that cause stomach discomfort. Zantac is also used in the treatment of acid reflux. Other classes of acid reflux drugs have a different action. They work by shutting down proton pumps that produce acid instead of blocking.
Why Zantac Became Dangerous
An independent testing lab discovered NDMA in a batch of Zantac that was being tested. At first it was thought that the batch was contaminated, but further investigation revealed that the active ingredient in Zantac, ranitidine, degrades over time and turns into NDMA. It was also discovered that the conversion into NDMA happens in high temperatures. That meant storing Zantac in a warm closet or consuming the medication turned Zantac into a dangerous drug.
Cancers Linked to Taking Zantac
Use of Zantac is linked to cancers of the alimentary canal, or the digestive system. The types of cancers that are considered to have formed due to use of Zantac include:
- Small and large intestine
Actions You Should Take if You Took Zantac
If you took Zantac at any point in your life, you should consult with your physician about how taking the drug may have affected you. If you feel you are experiencing unusual symptoms, discuss them with your physician so they can perform an exam and send you for testing if necessary.
You may be able to join the Zantac class action lawsuit if you or a loved one took Zantac or a generic version and eventually developed one of the aforementioned cancers. Contact a lawyer for a consultation to learn more about how you can benefit from joining the class action suit.