The heartburn medication Zantac, and all similar generic medications, were recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday to be pulled from the market due to increased cancer risk. The FDA guidance requested that manufacturers immediately remove all prescription and over-the-counter drugs containing active ingredient ranitidine from circulation. Last September, the FDA had issued a warning about Zantac and similar drugs, to which many retail outlets reacted by removing Zantac from store shelves, but the action taken by the FDA on Wednesday is more forceful. The action recommends that the manufacturers themselves remove the product from the market completely.
The problem with Zantac is that ranitidine breaks down over time, releasing a known cancer-causing contaminant called N-Nitrosodimethylamine, also called NDMA. If you have ever heard of NDMA before, it’s likely because of sensationalist news reports that eating bacon and other processed meats can lead to cancer. For comparison, NDMA levels in bacon are about 20 nanograms, but NDMA levels in ranitidine were sometimes found to exceed 300,000 nanograms per tablet. The FDA has a recommended daily intake maximum of 96 nanograms of NDMA per day. The level of NDMA in Zantac seems to increase the longer the product is stored, and increases are larger when stored at higher temperatures.
The FDA recommends that consumers stop taking any drug containing ranitidine, including Zantac, specifically mentioning that other competing heartburn medications have not been show to contain NDMA.
If you or a loved one has developed cancer while taking Zantac, you may be eligible for compensation. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth works with a team of experienced and successful product liability attorneys who seek damages from the negligent manufacturers of dangerous drugs. We offer 100% free consultations with no obligation to discuss your potential lawsuit. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to speak with Margaret about your legal case.