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Medical Expert Opinions Are Mixed About Zantac Being Carcinogenic

Health agencies all over the world are testing heartburn medications like Zantac for dangerous levels of NDMA

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - At the center of the legal and medical controversy surrounding heartburn medications in general and leading brand Zantac, in particular, is a compound called NDMA deemed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a world health organization group, as a "probable carcinogen." NDMA (N-nitrosamine), "is formed when a secondary or tertiary amine reacts with a nitrosating agent. The compounds are found at low levels in many foods, such as roasted meats, cheese, and beer, because of cooking and fermentation processes," according to Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). Routine prescription drug testing by online pharmacy Valisure has uncovered previously safe levels of NDMA have exploded to potentially deadly levels when Zantac tablets are exposed to high temperatures or when they are mixed with the meat preservative nitrite. Sanofi recently pulled Zantac from the market until they can determine what factors are causing the spike in the dangerous compound. According to C&EN, experts have identified several possible reasons for the increases in NDMA such as "side reactions from drug syntheses, the breakdown of unstable drug compounds, and contamination from recycled solvents used in manufacturing," according to C&EN.

C&EN describes that humans are constantly ingesting NDMA in levels considered by the FDA as safe in foods that are cured and processed such as bacon, bologna, hot dogs, etc., most deli meats and that NDMA levels can increase when the chemical interacts with the nitrites in the stomach. Amounts of NDMA have been detected 10-200 times greater than believed to be safe fueling the current cancer health scare.

C&EN reports that experts at Canadian drug and health watchdog Health Canada and the European Medical Agency (EMA) believe that the risks that NDMA poses to one's health remain small. Health Canada reported that it would take many years of using the drug regularly to cause the slightest NDMA-related medical concern. "A person taking a drug that contains NDMA at or below the acceptable intake every day for 70 years is not expected to have an increased risk of cancer, representatives say in an email statement to C&EN." Despite the chemical's safety assurances, experts estimate that thousands of individuals have already filed lawsuits against Sanofi and expect thousands more in the coming months. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number that has been filed against the maker of Zantac accusing the drug of causing stomach and other cancer until the company's quarterly report is published. Sanofi published the report on its website located at

If you or a loved one have developed stomach, bladder, esophageal, prostate, or gastrointestinal cancer and have been regular Zantac users you may wish to consult a Zantac Cancer Attorney to see if you qualify to file a claim. Zantac is accused of causing a variety of life-threatening cancer and users should see a doctor as soon as possible before cancer symptoms make the disease's treatment more difficult. Diagnosing Zantac cancer as soon as possible could help in successfully treating the disease.

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.

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