Drug Name: Zantac (Ranitidine)
Manufacturer: Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi
Who can File a Lawsuit:
- People who have developed bladder and stomach cancer as a result of using the drug
- The family of patients who have died from cancer caused by Zantac
- California, 13th September 2019
The first class-action lawsuit against Zantac was brought in by four plaintiffs: Christina Garza, Corina Lingerfelt, Pankaj Khetarpal, and Justin Rowe, on the very day that Zantac was declared unsafe.
- New Jersey, 20th September 2019
Five plaintiffs, namely Michael Burke, Mary Santorella, Kassie Benson, Richard Harris, Stephanie Harris, and Lisa Prisinzano, filed a formal complaint and lawsuit against the pharmaceuticals in the second class-action lawsuit against Zantac.
- Illinois, 25th November 2019
Lynn White and Nataliya Birman banded together and filed a lawsuit against all major manufacturers of Zantac in the US District Court for Illinois.
- Minnesota, 6th December 2019
Another class-action lawsuit was filed in Minnesota by John Scholl, Ryan Dahl, and Brad Hoag on behalf of themselves and others similarly affected by Zantac.
Zantac is the trade name for a drug, Ranitidine, which is majorly used to treat heartburn in patients. It is also effective when it comes to the treatment of Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease, peptic ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Ranitidine, which is a histamine-2 blocker, is one of the most prescribed drugs around the world. Many people suffer from stomach ulcers and excessive stomach acid production, and to counter that, Ranitidine is the drug that many doctors prescribe. For this reason, Ranitidine (or Zantac) also made it to the World Health Organization's List of Essential Drugs.
Ranitidine is sold and manufactured globally by different manufacturers, but the largest production share rests with Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, two large pharmaceutical companies operating globally. Sanofi is the manufacturer of Zantac in the USA. Both the companies appeared recently in the news in 2017 when they signed a contract swapping segments of their businesses to better focus their attention on one department and become market leaders in different segments of the pharmaceutical industry.
After the damaging information about Zantac being a potential culprit of stomach and bladder cancers came out in 2019, both of the companies have officially announced a voluntary recall, claiming that patient safety and health is a priority above anything else. However, the damage had been done. In 2016, Zantac was the 50th most prescribed drug in the US, and then, patients started showing symptoms of cancer.
Lawsuits against Zantac started pouring in, with people demanding damages for their suffering and losses caused by the pharmaceuticals' negligence in warning the patients of the potential health hazards associated with the drug.Conditions and Uses for Zantac
Zantac is one of the most popular medicines, routinely prescribed to millions of patients worldwide. Considering that, the news of it containing carcinogens has also affected millions of people around the globe.
Ranitidine was discovered and developed in 1976, and it became available for commercial use in 1981. Since then, the medicine has gained approval from the World Health Organization and doctors globally.
It was marketed as a drug that would decrease the production of stomach acids, ultimately lowering the chances of any of these diseases from occurring. Though little research is available, it is also thought to help clear out hives.
Zantac is prescribed to patients suffering from the following diseases.Heartburn
Approximately 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn. Heartburn is a condition which, although not dangerous, can be extremely disruptive and uncomfortable for people. The symptoms of heartburn initially can feel like the onset of a heart attack, but it is actually a severe sensation of food traveling back up your mouth and an acidic, burning sensation in your chest – hence the name 'heartburn.' Heartburn can occasionally occur when your stomach is producing too much acid, causing it to move up the esophagus. The good news is that it can easily be treated by medication such as Zantac.GERD
If you consistently experience heartburn sensations and other symptoms accompanying it, you might have Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease. GERD occurs when stomach juices flush back into the esophagus, which connects your mouth to your stomach. This reflux irritates the lining of your esophagus, causing a burning feeling.
GERD is persistent, and other symptoms include chest pain, regurgitation, and laryngitis. Mild GERD can be controlled with lifestyle changes, but people with severe GERD or other medical illnesses need medication to control it. For example, GERD can trigger or worsen asthma in patients, making medication necessary.Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
Though rare, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome comprises multiple tumors forming in your pancreas or small intestine, called gastrinomas. The gastrinomas secrete the hormone gastrin, making the stomach react to the hormone by overproducing stomach acid. This can cause peptic ulcers and heartburn, and treatment plans include medication to reduce the stomach acid, as well as heal the peptic ulcers and gastrinomas.Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic Ulcer Disease is when painful sores and ulcers form in the lining of your stomach or your small intestine. It is unclear what causes these ulcers to form, but many lifestyle choices can cause the protective layer of the stomach lining to degrade and be susceptible to damage from the stomach juices. Administering medication can regulate the stomach acids and allows the ulcers to heal.How Does Zantac Work?
Zantac belongs to a class of drugs called Histamine 2 blockers (H2 Blockers). It works by blocking the histamine, in turn decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces.
The acid in your stomach is produced as a reaction to the histamine released in the stomach. When the histamine comes into contact with the cells in your stomach, called the parietal cells, it causes the stomach to overproduce acid. Zantac interrupts and prevents the histamine from interacting with the stomach cells.
They block the histamine and, as a result, reduce the acid production in your stomach for up to 12 hours, providing instant relief from heartburn and Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease.What's the Problem With Zantac?
For decades, Ranitidine (Zantac) remained the most popular drug for heartburn until 2019 when some research came forward, proving that Zantac has traces of a substance called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a known carcinogen.
NDMA is a yellow liquid substance that has no distinct odor. It used to be used in the production of rocket fuel but was stopped after high levels of it were detected in the atmosphere around the plant. However, NDMA is created as a byproduct in many chemical processes, such as water filtration and many more. Humans come into contact with NDMA all the time through what they eat, drink, or breathe. It is somewhat inevitable, but these levels are in small amounts, which means that they are deemed safe enough.
The FDA, on 13th September 2019, released statements claiming that the popular OTC medication, Zantac, is contaminated with trace levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Though the contamination is low, it has the potential to cause cancer among its patients. The levels are between 3000 and 26000 – above what is regarded to be 'safe' consumption of NDMA.
Though the cause of the contamination is not known, the fact that N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a cancer-causing agent is not new information. When the pharmaceutical companies, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim were manufacturing and marketing the drug, the scientific evidence and research about NDMA was publicly available, and it is alleged that even then the companies didn't bother looking into it, or at the very least, warned users about it.
Patients who are exposed to high, consistent levels of NDMA are at risk of all sorts of cancers, including those of the liver, esophagus, stomach, bladder, kidneys, and lungs. NDMAs are considered to be one of the most potent groups of carcinogens known. Because Zantac targeted the stomach and surrounding area, most patients who had consumed the drug developed and even died of stomach and bladder cancers.
The first lawsuit was brought on the very day that the FDA declared that Zantac might be the cause of stomach and bladder cancers in its users. The lawsuit was filed in California against the pharmaceutical giants and accused Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim of manufacturing and marketing products that contained a well-known carcinogen and failing to inform the consumers of the possible risks.
Though Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim made public announcements about a worldwide voluntary recall of the drug, as the investigation continued, other lawsuits followed.Symptoms of Stomach and Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer causes about 16,000 deaths per year. Identifying the symptoms is critical in diagnosing the disease, so timely treatments can be administered. If bladder cancer is caught in its first year, the chances of survival are 88%.
If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms and have a history of Zantac usage, see a urologist immediately. The symptoms are:
- Blood in the urine
- Pain while urinating
- Intense back and abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite and weight
Stomach cancer is caused when tumors start forming on the stomach lining. The tumors can grow over many years, and if not caught on time, curing the cancer can be complicated. Be mindful of these symptoms, especially if you have used Zantac in the past.
- Severe and consistent heartburn
- Intense abdominal pain
- Persistent vomiting and nausea
- Severe indigestion
- Feeling full or bloated
In the aftermath of the FDA's announcement, many people came forward with lawsuits claiming that Zantac caused them or their loved ones incredible suffering, and even death.
If you have been suffering from the symptoms listed above and used Zantac in the past, seek medical help immediately. If a diagnosis confirms your fears, speak to a lawyer, and file a Zantac lawsuit.
You may be eligible to file a claim if you:
- Have developed bladder and stomach cancer as a result of using the drug
- Have a family member who has died from cancer caused by taking Zantac
- Were prescribed Zantac, purchased and consumed it, but never developed cancer
If you have been diagnosed with stomach or bladder cancer as a result of using Zantac, consult a lawyer immediately. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim and pursue a claim for damages. Some of the compensatory damages that your lawyer can fight for are:
- Past and future medical expenses to treat and cure the cancer
- Pain and suffering (both physical and mental)
- Past and future wage loss.
- Past and future loss of potential earnings.
- Punitive damages, if appropriate,
In case a close family member of yours died from cancer caused by Zantac, you can pursue a lawsuit on their behalf and claim for damages such as:
- Loss of companionship, parental guidance, and support
- Loss of financial support
- Expenses for mental trauma and therapy
You do not have a lot of time to file a Zantac lawsuit; you only have time until the Statute of Limitations expires. So, if you have used Zantac in the past, and are seeing symptoms of cancer developing, go to a doctor immediately and get a proper diagnosis.
This time frame differs from state to state. After an official diagnosis, you only may have about 2 – 6 years to file a lawsuit.
So, if you suspect your stomach or bladder cancer is a result of using this drug, consult with a lawyer and file your Zantac lawsuit against Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim immediately.Recent Settlements for Zantac Lawsuits California, 13th September 2019
In September 2019, on the very day that the FDA proclaimed Zantac to be unsafe because of NDMA contamination, the first class-action lawsuit against Zantac was brought in. Four plaintiffs: Christina Garza, Corina Lingerfelt, Pankaj Khetarpal, and Justin Rowe joined together and filed a complaint against the pharmaceutical giants, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim. Following the example, many others pursued their lawsuits, too.New Jersey, 20th September 2019
The second class-action lawsuits followed just a week after the first. Five plaintiffs, namely Michael Burke, Mary Santorella, Kassie Benson, Richard Harris, Stephanie Harris, and Lisa Prisinzano, filed a formal complaint and lawsuit against the pharmaceuticals. All of them had been purchasing over-the-counter versions of Zantac for a substantial amount of time and claimed that they had been tricked into believing that it is safe for consumption.Illinois, 25th November 2019
A month later, Lynn White and Nataliya Birman banded together and filed a lawsuit against all major manufacturers of Zantac in the US District Court for Illinois. They claim that the manufacturers were aware of NDMA's risks of breaking down in the human body, and yet they failed to warn the consumers or stop its distribution in the markets.
Both plaintiffs filed a detailed complaint and are now awaiting trial, where they expect to be compensated sufficiently, and for the pharmaceutical companies to be fined and punished accordingly.Minnesota, 6th December 2019
Another class-action lawsuit (Complaint) was filed in Minnesota by John Scholl, Ryan Dahl, and Brad Hoag on behalf of themselves and others similarly affected by Zantac. They claim that they would never have used the medication had they knew it could put them at risk of cancer. They also state that the manufacturers were aware that there is a 400-fold NDMA increase in the urine of someone who is consuming the drug.
As lawsuits, both individual and class action, keep pouring in, the litigation is expected to last for several months. Plaintiffs are hopeful that their cases will be justly heard, and they will be fairly compensated. If you have been a victim of Zantac, you too can pursue a lawsuit. Speak to your lawyer about further information on how to proceed with your Zantac lawsuit.Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to File a Zantac Lawsuit
At Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have recovered more than $75 million in accident and injury settlements. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with stomach or bladder cancer after using Zantac during your for your heartburn, GERD, or other conditions, we can try to help you pursue compensation for past and future medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, death of a loved one, and punitive damages.
Let our compassionate and experienced attorneys represent you in your claim and try to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. We offer a contingency based fee.
You can get a free case evaluation from our injury lawyers today and obtain valuable advice on how to move forward with your Zantac lawsuit.