The Dangers Behind the Zantac Recall

Torn Zantac box on black background

Since the 1980s, Zantac, the brand name medication for the drug ranitidine, has been a staple medicine in homes across America. Zantac has long provided relief for those with gastrointestinal distress such as stomach ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, and more. Until 2020, it was one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the country. However, a recall issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2020 has taken Zantac completely off the market seemingly overnight. Patients who have taken Zantac prior to the recall could be in danger of far worse things than heartburn and ulcers.

The Dangerous Discovery

After use by millions of patients, it seemed unlikely that such a trusted drug could have many unforeseen side effects. In September of 2019, though, the online pharmacy Valisure reported finding N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in every tested batch of both generic ranitidine and brand name Zantac. NDMA is a naturally occurring chemical in soil, air, and water and is a byproduct of many manufacturing processes.

While small amounts are safe (like in grilled or smoked meat), researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests NDMA is carcinogenic. With enough ingestion, it may cause cancer in humans.

The Zantac Recall

After receiving Valisure’s research data, the FDA decided to take a closer look. The agency verified the findings submitted by Valisure. The FDA requested every ranitidine manufacturer test their batches and send untested samples to the FDA for secondary testing.

Following the FDA’s first recall in 2019, America’s largest drug stores began pulling Zantac and its generics from their shelves. Further testing revealed that the amount of NDMA increased over time in all ranitidine-containing drugs, including Zantac, even with proper storage. In April 2020, the FDA issued a total market recall on all ranitidine – both Zantac and generic. Drug stores and pharmaceutical companies alike no longer sell Zantac with ranitidine in the United States.

What Do I Do If I’ve Been Diagnosed with Cancer After the Zantac Recall?

Despite the FDA’s swift action, thousands of people who have taken Zantac long-term are wondering, “what now?” After all, after years of taking a drug like Zantac laced with a dangerous, cancer-causing chemical, it’s understandable they may be feeling apprehensive about their health.

In fact, doctors have already diagnosed many previously long-time Zantac patients with cancer. These victims may be able to seek damages for their undoubtedly outrageous medical bills and other losses. If you’ve developed cancer after taking Zantac, seeking legal advice may be the best course of action.

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