Zantac and Generic Ranitidine May Be Harmful

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revealed that Zantac and generic varieties contain a chemical that could be linked to cancer, called

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Concern erupted when private lab Valisure found the contaminant and alerted FDA officials of a problem stemming from the composition of the drug. Several large pharmacy chains and stores such as Walmart, Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens have since suspended the sales of Zantac branded heartburn medicines and generic versions that contain active ingredient ranitidine. Three drugmakers – Apotex, Sandoz and GlaxoSmithKline – have recalled generic versions.

The FDA has not yet made the recommendation for users to stop taking the drug, and the manufacturer of Zantac said it has not halted sending shipments of the medicine to the US and will continue its own investigations.

“Our finding is that this is an inherent instability of the ranitidine molecule. It just falls apart into NDMA,” says David Light, CEO of Valisure. “And this isn’t just Valisure yelling about something we happened to find. The foundation of this concern has been around for decades. We’re really just connecting the dots.”

Potential symptoms of overexposure of NDMA and the drug-related injuries or sicknesses may include:

  • headache
  • fever
  • nausea
  • jaundice
  • vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • enlarged liver
  • dizziness

Overexposure can lead to reduced function of the liver, kidney, and lungs, or damage to these organs. Animal studies have shown that when pregnant mice were fed NDMA, their babies were either born dead or died shortly after birth.

NDMA Has Been Proven to Pose Dangers

In 2018, NDMA was a harmful impurity found in several highly prescribed blood pressure medications and heart failure medicines called Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs). Some blood pressure drugs like losartan have had recalls expanded up to five times because of NDMA exposure risks. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Technical Fact Sheet on NDMA describes NDMA as both carcinogenic and toxic. The chemical previously utilized in the production of rocket fuel is a byproduct of both industrial and natural processes, and therefore can be found in the environment naturally or unintentionally produced during the manufacturing of pesticides, rubber and tires, dye, and surfactants. NDMA is no longer used in the US, except for research purposes.

The elderly, pregnant women and children are sensitive groups commonly prescribed ranitidine to manage stomach acid and heartburn symptoms.

Talk To An Attorney About Your Drug-Related Injury or Sickness

Our goal is not to alarm you, but many well-known drugs have been the focus of lawsuits against major drug manufacturers, even when known risks and severe side effects are present.

If you or someone you love have suffered from dangerous side effects of a drug, first contact your physician and receive medical help. If you have further concerns that your stomach acid-reducing medication may have made you ill, the Chicago personal injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti can help.

Contact us now for a FREE consultation (312) 332-2872 or by completing our online case evaluation form.

Also read: Nursing Homes And Recalled Medications