Products that we consider safe, and sometimes even healthy, may have hidden ingredients that may end up harming us. Nowadays, even an everyday product like sunscreen may have carcinogenic elements and compounds.
Similar compounds were also recently discovered in popular antacid Zantac.
Zantac is the brand name of the medication Ranitidine that is used to decrease the production of acid in the stomach. It is used to treat heartburn caused due to acidity, acid reflux, Gastroesophageal diseases (commonly referred to as GERD), peptic ulcers, and other forms of stomach ulcers. It belongs to Histamine-2 blockers or H2 blockers that reduce the amount of acid produced by cells present in the lining of the stomach.
So what’s the risk involved in using Zantac? Is it true that patients can develop bladder cancer after taking Zantac? What other risks are involved? Let’s find out:
This medicine has worked miraculously for people struggling with heartburn, GERD, and acid reflux. So why was Zantac recalled?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered the withdrawal of all ranitidine products from the marketplace after Valisure Pharmacy reported increased and unacceptable levels of Nitrosodimethylamine commonly known as NDMA in ranitidine.
NDMA is a yellow-colored, odorless liquid that is pervasively present in the soil, air, and water in minor amounts. NDMA is a chemical compound that is permitted, but only 96 nanograms per day. Any increase than this amount when ingested could lead to fatal consequences.
The NDMA contaminated medication or NDMA in general has been classified as carcinogenic, that is a cancer-causing agent. It can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed by the skin. The potential impact of NDMA consumption on human health includes hepatotoxicity, or liver poisoning. It has been found that NDMA releases inflammatory cytokines when absorbed by the liver. This, in turn, may cause liver inflammation and scarring.
In another study, it was found that rubber workers who were exposed to NDMA chemicals have developed larynx and esophageal cancer. It is not just about inhalation. This chemical can be absorbed by the skin, so contact with this chemical in any way is dangerous.
The amount of NDMA present in Zantac has been found to increase multifold when stored at high temperatures, and for a longer duration of time, such as during distribution and consumer handling.
Regular use of Zantac is associated with a number of cancer conditions:
- Kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Aside from the carcinogenic side effects of Zantac, it was found that Ranitidine has likely been causing other problems such as liver failure, kidney damage, internal bleeding, and blood disorders such as hemolytic anemia. It has also been linked to brain-related effects such as seizures, hallucinations, agitations, and confusion. In fact, the use of Zantac can be directly correlated with primary and secondary cancers in the liver. Meaning, not only does Zantac use increase the chances of the liver itself contracting cancer, but it does the same for other body parts, and cancer can then travel to the liver from those body parts, essentially infecting it.
The common symptoms of cancer caused by Zantac vary from unintentional weight loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and poor appetite to bloody, painful urination, change in bowel movements, and abdominal pain. In some cases, one may also experience itchiness and yellowing of the skin and/or eyes.
At the moment, the ranitidine medications lawsuit has been consolidated into multidistrict litigation. This MDL has been assigned to Hon Robin Rosenberg in the United States district court in Florida. There are around 2,000 cases and the number of cases filed seems to be only increasing. The trial will be held in the summer of 2023. It does not matter whether you had a risk factor for cancer or ever had a family history of cancer. As long as the strong bladder carcinogens in Zantac contributed to your cancer, you are eligible to claim financial compensation.
If you win your lawsuit for cancer after taking Zantac, you can receive the following damages in a Zantac lawsuit
- Lost wages for the time that one missed from the work
- Medical bills compensation
- Compensation for pain and suffering
If your loved one passed away after they developed bladder cancer from taking Zantac, your family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for bladder cancer can include
- Lost wages that your loved one would have earned had they continued working
- Payment for your family’s grief over losing your loved one
- Compensation for the loss of a close and loving relationship with your loved one who died from bladder cancer
Other drugs that contain a significantly dangerous amount of NDMA
Zantac, earlier used as a medication to treat heartburn and other indigestion problems, seemed to be more than just medicine that cures. In 2019, this miraculous medication somehow proved to be so dangerous that FDA had to request the market withdrawal of the remaining prescriptions and banned it for use in the U.S.A.
Zantac was found to be contaminated by NDMA, which in turn has proved to be a human carcinogen by multiple scientific studies and research.