After taking over-the-counter Zantac drugs for eight years, an Illinois woman has filed a lawsuit alleging Zantac caused her to develop stomach cancer.

Gastric Cancer Linked to Zantac Lawsuit

Recent cancer links to Zantac, a popular heartburn medication, have put a national spotlight on the safety of the drug. Due to consumer concerns and numerous lawsuits, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled Zantac drugs and asked all manufacturers and retailers to stop selling all forms of Zantac products.

In a recent lawsuit, an Illinois woman blames the use of Zantac for her gastric cancer. In 2019, the woman received a medical diagnosis of gastric cancer, a type of stomach cancer that forms malignant cells in the stomach lining, then produces tumors in the outer layers of the stomach. The woman says she began taking over-the-counter Zantac tablets in 2000 to relieve heartburn, and continued to take them through 2018, following all of the directions on the package.

The lawsuit alleges that a common ingredient, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), used in Zantac (a brand name) and ranitidine products (generic brands) are known to be a probable human carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency. NDMA was previously used to make rocket fuel. Today, it is used in scientific research labs to induce cancerous tumors in test animals. NDMA has been detected in some blood pressure and diabetes medications, but in low amounts. It has been detected in ranitidine products (generic Zantac) in amounts 3,000 times higher than the approved safety level by the FDA. Zantac products are available in both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, but the highest levels of NDMA have been found in ranitidine generic drugs.

NDMA was first discovered in Zantac in June 2019 by an online pharmacy doing random testing. Research showed that ranitidine molecules are unstable and break down during digestion in the human stomach, forming NDMA particles. The pharmacy submitted a petition to the FDA in September 2019, urging a recall of all forms of ranitidine products.

The FDA followed up with its own testing of Zantac and generic ranitidine and found unacceptable levels of NDMA. The FDA called on manufacturers to investigate concerns with their own testing and voluntarily recall products. In January 2020, the FDA issued a national recall of all Zantac and ranitidine products. Over the last year, ranitidine cancer lawyers have witnessed rising personal injury lawsuits and class-actions against the makers of Zantac.

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