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Researchers Continue to Struggle To Determine Why Zantac Could Cause Cancer

There are still more questions than answers surrounding Zantac NDMA and how levels of the carcinogen skyrocketed

Monday, October 12, 2020 - The US Food and Drug Administration first approved ranitidine hydrochloride, better known as Zantac in the United States, on October 29, 1999. The drug's original manufacturer was Galaxo Welcome Research and Development, and the purpose of the medicine was to reduce stomach acid and alleviate heartburn and acid reflux disorders. The drug was available by prescription and over the counter. Other uses for Zantac was to treat or prevent stomach ulcers and to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Over the next 20 years, Zantac became the world's best-selling heartburn medicine and was taken regularly by over 15 million Americans in 2019. The FDA has known from the beginning that Zantac contained carcinogenic NDMA, but in low levels thought to be safe. The FDA was not too concerned at the time since NDMA is in our food and water. Consequently, the agency set a limit of 96 nanograms per day or Zantac tablet.

Zantac was recalled by Sanofi, its manufacturer, recently over fears it could contain high levels of NDMA, a known carcinogen. Since then, speculation has it that the reason for the unacceptably high levels of the carcinogen could be that the compound destabilizes when heated to high temperatures, as was done by online testing pharmacy Valisure during its testing process. It is currently unclear whether or not storing Zantac at high temperatures caused or contributed to the NDMA increases. Experts also think that NDMA may increase when it interacts with meat preservatives called nitrites within the stomach. A third possibility would be that Zantac tablets became contaminated at the manufacturing facilities overseas in China and elsewhere.

None of the reasons for NDMA increases have been ruled out. The only thing that is certain right now is that Sanofi is being held accountable for what it knew or was obligated to know about the carcinogenic NDMA increases. There are nearly 1000 Zantac users who have developed cancer of the stomach, bladder, esophagus, intestines, colon, prostate, and breast, and have filed suit against the company. Tens of thousands of more Zantac sufferers may also blame Zantac and come forward to file a lawsuit if and when the first bellwether trial is decided against Sanofi. If you have used Zantac regularly for over a year you should consult a Zantac Cancer Attorney to determine if you qualify to file a claim for lump-sum monetary damages.

Health Canada has taken the lead in dealing with the Zantac NDMA cancer problem. The agency has outlined steps to be taken by any company that wishes to sell ranitidine products going forward, measures that may also be implemented in the US as early as 2021. The agency requires, among other things that companies wishing to sell ranitidine, "continue to test every batch of ranitidine product before releasing it and test it regularly throughout its shelf life."

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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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