Zantac (or its generic form, ranitidine) was recalled by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) after the testing lab Valisure found unsafe levels of the known carcinogen NDMA in the drug and submitted a petition to the agency with their findings. Consuming NDMA at these high levels can cause various cancers as well as organ damage. Therefore, the risk to the public merited the removal of all ranitidine products from the market.
The Discovery of NDMA in Zantac
How NDMA Was Discovered in Zantac
Although ranitidine has been around for decades, the discovery of high levels of NDMA in the drug happened recently. Valisure made initial findings in 2019 and reported them to the FDA. The FDA then reviewed Valisure’s claims and conducted their own research to confirm the presence of NDMA in Zantac.
Once the unsafe levels of NDMA were confirmed, the FDA issued a recall on all ranitidine products. This includes tablet, syrup, capsule, and injectable forms of the drug in both over the counter (OTC) and prescription strengths. Since the recall in April 2020, Zantac was removed from the market in all 50 states, with no current plans for reapproval.
The Link Between NDMA and Cancer
The FDA made its decision to remove Zantac from the shelves because of the public health risk. NDMA is a known carcinogen that has been shown to cause cancer in animals, and there is good reason to believe it can have a similar effect on humans as well.
Some cancers and health conditions that may be linked to NDMA exposure include:
- Stomach cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- And many others
If you or someone you love has a history of taking Zantac and developed one of these conditions, it is possible your illness is linked to NDMA exposure.
How Much NDMA Was Found in Zantac
According to the petition they submitted to the FDA, Valisure found NDMA in amounts far greater than any safe level—3,000,000 nanograms in a single tablet of ranitidine, compared to the 96 nanograms per day considered acceptable by the FDA.
Research seems to indicate that the amount of NDMA in the drug depends on two things: time and temperature. Due to the inherent instability of ranitidine itself, NDMA is produced both over time and as the drug is exposed to higher temperatures.
Without testing the specific ranitidine in your medicine cabinet, it is impossible to say with any certainty how much NDMA is in the Zantac you and your loved ones have been taking. This is why it is important to stop taking Zantac immediately and safely dispose of any leftover Zantac you still have. Once you have done so, speak with your doctor about your health concerns.
What to Do Now That Zantac Has Been Recalled
Now that Zantac has been recalled, you may wonder what steps you should take for the sake of your health and well-being. Fortunately, you have many options.
Speak with Your Doctor
Visit your doctor to discuss your concerns. Let them know your history with Zantac and ranitidine, as well as any unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. Your doctor can then evaluate you for any NDMA-related diseases and/or recommend that you see a specialist.
Your doctor can also recommend alternative medications that can help you manage your stomach acid without Zantac. There are still other anti-heartburn drugs on the market that have not been shown to have unsafe levels of NDMA, and one of these may work for you. Of course, these drugs come with their own warnings, so be sure to discuss any medication changes with your physician.
You may also want to try changing your habits to reduce your stomach acid without medication. Eating slowly and eating more mild foods may help lower your chance of heartburn and acid reflux. Not exercising or lying down right after eating can provide relief as well.
Work with a Lawyer from Our Firm
As you get the medical care you need, you can also get the legal advice you need to pursue compensation for your losses. An attorney from Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can explain your rights and guide you through the process of recovering damages to help cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To learn more about why Zantac was recalled and schedule your free consultation, call us today at (855) 529-0269.