The manufacturer of the popular heartburn medication Zantac, also known by the generic name ranitidine, has recalled the potentially dangerous drug due to concerns that it may contain a cancer-causing substance. The voluntary October recall by Sanofi comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported finding small amounts of a carcinogenic chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in several brand-name and generic ranitidine medications.
The concerns about the presence of carcinogens extend beyond Zantac to all ranitidine drugs. Pharmaceutical companies Apotex Inc. and Sandoz had already pulled their ranitidine products from store shelves before the Zantac recall.
The FDA has advised drug manufacturers to recall their ranitidine medication if testing shows levels of NDMA above the acceptable daily intake (96 nanograms per day or 0.32 parts per million for ranitidine). NDMA is an environmental contaminant found in water and a variety of foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables. It is the same substance that triggered recalls of popular blood pressure medications such as valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan earlier this year when it was discovered in several batches of those medications.
The discovery of these impurities notwithstanding, the FDA has not called on patients to stop taking ranitidine altogether but recommends that they discuss their concerns with their doctors. The agency also notes that alternative prescription and over-the-counter medications for acid reflux and GERD, the primary conditions treated with Zantac and ranitidine, are available. According to the FDA, it has not found any NDMA in Pepcid (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), or Prilosec (omeprazole).
Sommers Schwartz, PC: Dangerous Drug Attorneys
If you or a loved one developed cancer after taking Zantac or other medications containing ranitidine, you might have a claim for compensation. Speaking with a lawyer experienced in dangerous drug litigation is the best way to understand your rights and learn about your options.
At Sommers Schwartz, PC, we have seen the tragic consequences that often follow when a dangerous drug is released in the marketplace with inadequate testing, deceptive marketing, or other negligent conduct that puts the health and lives of patients at risk. Our experienced defective device and dangerous drug attorneys have a long track record of success holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for the damage they cause and getting our clients the compensation that can help them recover and move forward.
Please contact Sommers Schwartz with your Zantac questions and concerns and to learn more about who we are, what we do, and how we can help you.