The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking all manufacturers to pull all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs, known by the brand name Zantac, from the market immediately. According to a report in The New York Times, the levels of a contaminant in the heartburn medications increase over time and can progress to cancer when stored at higher than normal temperatures.
Potentially Dangerous Drugs
The agency has also recommended that consumers who use the over-the-counter forms of the drug stop taking it and that they dispose of any tablets or liquid that they have. People who take prescription forms of the drug should talk to their doctors about other options before stopping treatment. A majority of manufacturers withdrew their products from the market several months ago after an outside pharmacy raised the alarm regarding the drug last year.
Large pharmacy chains such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid had also stopped selling them. Sanofi, which makes Zantac, said it recalled the product in October and that all retailers and consumers were previously instructed to return or destroy the drugs. The FDA began to investigate after being alerted by the online pharmacy Valisure that its tests of the drugs revealed high levels of NDMA, above the FDA’s acceptable daily limit. The FDA initially pushed back against the pharmacy’s testing methods. This week though, the agency appeared to confirm Valisure’s findings. The FDA has said people could consider other heartburn relief drugs that do not contain NDMA.
NDMA is an environmental contaminant found in water along with meat, dairy and vegetables. It is classified as a B2 carcinogen, which means it’s a probable human carcinogen. Exposure to high amounts of NDMA is believed to cause gastric or colorectal cancer, according to the World Health Organization. It is also known to be extremely toxic to the liver. It can damage the liver even if it is taken in small doses.
Product Liability Lawsuit
Pharmaceutical companies have a duty and a responsibility to test their products and ensure that the drugs they produce are safe for consumers. If you took Zantac or prescription or over-the-counter ranitidine drugs and developed cancer, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to fight on your behalf and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.