Products that we consider safe, and sometimes even healthy, may contain hidden ingredients that can end up harming us. These days, even an everyday product like sunscreen may contain carcinogenic elements and compounds.
Similar compounds were also recently discovered in the popular antacid Zantac.
Zantac is the brand name of the drug Ranitidine which is used to decrease acid production in the stomach. It is used to treat heartburn caused by acidity, acid reflux, gastroesophageal disease (commonly known as GERD), peptic ulcers, and other forms of stomach ulcers. It belongs to histamine-2 blockers or H2 blockers which reduce the amount of acid produced by the cells present in the stomach lining.
So what is the risk of using Zantac? Is it true that patients can develop bladder cancer after taking Zantac? What other risks are involved? Let’s find out:
This drug has worked miraculously for people with heartburn, GERD, and acid reflux. So why has Zantac been recalled?
The United States Food and Drug Administration has ordered the removal of all ranitidine products from the market after Valisure Pharmacy reported unacceptable increased levels of nitrosodimethylamine commonly known as NDMA in ranitidine.
NDMA is an odorless yellow liquid that is ubiquitous in soil, air and water in small amounts. NDMA is a permitted chemical compound, but only 96 nanograms per day. Any increase in this amount during ingestion could lead to fatal consequences.
The drug contaminated with NDMA or NDMA in general has been classified as a carcinogen, that is, a carcinogenic agent. It can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. The potential impact of NDMA consumption on human health includes hepatotoxicity or liver poisoning. NDMA has been found to release inflammatory cytokines when absorbed by the liver. This, in turn, can cause liver inflammation and scarring.
In other study, it was found that rubber workers who were exposed to NDMA chemicals developed cancer of the larynx and esophagus. It’s not just about inhalation. This chemical can be absorbed through the skin, so any contact with this chemical is dangerous.
The amount of NDMA present in Zantac has been found to increase several times when stored at elevated temperatures and for a longer duration, such as during dispensing and consumer handling.
Regular use of Zantac is associated with a number of cancerous conditions:
- kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Besides the carcinogenic side effects of Zantac, it was found that ranitidine likely caused other problems such as liver failure, kidney damage, internal bleeding, and blood disorders such as hemolytic anemia. It has also been linked to brain-related effects such as seizures, hallucinations, agitation, and confusion. In fact, Zantac use can be directly correlated with primary and secondary liver cancers. This means that not only does the use of Zantac increase the risk of the liver itself getting cancer, but so do other parts of the body, and the cancer can then travel to the liver from these parts of the body, essentially infecting it.
Common symptoms of cancer caused by Zantac vary from unintentional weight loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and lack of appetite to bloody and painful urination, changes in stool, and abdominal pain . In some cases, one may also experience itching and yellowing of the skin and/or eyes.
Currently, the ranitidine drug lawsuit has been consolidated into multidistrict litigation. This MDL was awarded to the Honorable Robin Rosenberg in the United States District Court in Florida. There are approximately 2,000 applications and the number of applications filed only seems to be increasing. The trial will take place in the summer of 2023. It doesn’t matter if you have a cancer risk factor or have had a family history of cancer. As long as the powerful bladder carcinogens in Zantac contributed to your cancer, you are eligible for financial compensation.
If you win your cancer lawsuit after taking Zantac, you may receive the following damages in a Zantac lawsuit
- Lost wages for time missed at work
- Compensation for medical expenses
- Compensation for pain and suffering
If your loved one died after developing bladder cancer from taking Zantac, your family can sue for wrongful death.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for bladder cancer may include
- Loss of wages your loved one would have earned had they continued to work
- Payment for your family’s grief from the loss of a loved one
- Compensation for the loss of a close and loving relationship with your loved one who died of bladder cancer
Other drugs containing a significantly dangerous amount of NDMA
Zantac, previously used as a medicine to treat heartburn and other indigestion problems, appeared to be more than just a medicine that heals. In 2019, this miracle drug somehow turned out to be so dangerous that the FDA had to withdraw the remaining prescriptions from the market and banned its use in the United States.
Zantac was found to be contaminated with NDMA, which in turn was found to be carcinogenic to humans through multiple scientific studies and research.