Millions of people worldwide trust their doctors to prescribe the appropriate medication for their health issues. Zantac is a drug many doctors suggest to their patients for gastroesophageal reflux disease and other digestive problems. Learning that Zantac may be harmful to regular users can be unsettling. Receiving a cancer diagnosis because of the drug can be frightening.
If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with cancer linked to their Zantac use, contacting a cancer lawyer can help you take appropriate legal action. The experienced attorneys at Nessler & Associates can review your medical records over a free initial consultation to determine if your illness is due to the popular prescription drug.
What is Zantac?
Zantac, also known by the generic name ranitidine, is a popular heartburn drug taken by millions of people. The drug is made by Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Paris. It is an H2 blocker, which means it works by reducing the production of stomach acid.
This can provide relief from heartburn, acid indigestion, acid reflux, and other symptoms of stomach irritation. While Zantac is available as an over-the-counter medication, people requiring higher dosages of the drug need to get a prescription from their health care provider.
Sanofi Fines and Legal Issues
Zantac manufacturer Sanofi has a history of questionable behavior and litigation in the pharmaceutical industry. Sanofi is no stranger to legal issues stemming from disregarding safety concerns. The company paid $109 million to resolve False Claims Act violation allegations in 2012. The violations occurred in connection with a knee injection product, with kickbacks and bribery to doctors used as a method of promoting the company’s drugs.
In 2018, Sanofi agreed to pay over $25 million due to Foreign Corruption Practices Act violations. The charges involved competition-related offenses in the Middle East and Kazakhstan. The Zantac manufacturer was charged with deleting emails related to the heartburn relief drug in 2021.
As of 2022, Sanofi faces a class-action lawsuit in its native country, France. The suit involves an epilepsy drug, Depakine, that has harmed many victims, especially children. The authorities believe that as many as 4,100 children may have been born with malformations because of Depakine. In addition, over 30,000 children may have suffered neuro-development issues because of the drug.
Why Was Zantac Recalled?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a mandatory recall for Zantac on April 1, 2020. It was issued after the FDA found Zantac contains a chemical, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen that could potentially cause cancer. The recall affects all versions of Zantac, and medical authorities advise patients to stop taking the drug and speak with their doctor about alternative generic ranitidine products.
The FDA is still investigating how NDMA gets into Zantac, but it is believed that the dangerous chemical may be formed during the industrial processes when Zantac is stored in high temperatures or when it interacts with other chemicals.
What is NDMA?
NDMA is a cancer-causing dangerous substance that has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The FDA is currently investigating the source of the contamination and has not yet determined whether Zantac or other ranitidine medications are safe to use.
Amneal Pharmaceuticals announced a voluntary recall of certain over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine tablets in 2019 due to the potential for N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) contamination. The company is one of the largest generic manufacturers in the United States. This voluntary recall was conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Types of Cancer Linked to Zantac
Zantac and other drugs containing NDMA have causal links to various forms of cancers. These include:
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Prostate cancers
Other Health Issues That May Appear with a Zantac Cancer Diagnosis
Besides increased risk for cancer, patients who have taken Zantac may also be at risk for other health problems. These include gastrointestinal issues, such as:
- Abdominal pain and diarrhea
- Neurological issues, such as dizziness and headaches
- Respiratory problems, such as difficulty breathing and wheezing
Other Zantac injuries and side effects include internal bleeding and liver fibrosis. While some of these side effects are relatively mild, they can still disrupt a patient’s quality of life. Severe side effects, such as liver damage, have been reported in rare cases.
How Concerned Should You Be if You Took Zantac?
If you’re a former Zantac user, it’s important not to panic. Although the risk of cancer in some cases increases significantly with dangerous levels of NDMA, it’s important to understand that the substance exists in other everyday products that the average person consumes. Beer, meat, and cheese, among others, contain amounts of NDMA in small concentrations.
Speak with your doctor and look for symptoms of NDMA toxicity. These symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Abnormal heart rates
If you have become ill from Zantac, it is crucial to pursue a Zantac cancer lawsuit as soon as possible. By doing so, you can avoid out-of-pocket expenses that can add up to thousands of dollars in treatment and therapy.
How to Qualify for a Zantac Lawsuit
Several key factors determine whether you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit:
- You took Zantac regularly for an extended period.
- You developed cancer after taking Zantac.
- There is a causal link between your use of Zantac and your development of cancer.
If you believe that you or a loved one may qualify for a Zantac lawsuit, speak with a qualified attorney. An experienced lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. If they determine you have one, the lawyer can guide you through the next steps in pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Zantac Cancer Lawsuits Versus Zantac Class Action Lawsuit
The Zantac cancer lawsuits against Sonofi in Florida are underway with thousands of plaintiffs filing claims. However, it is important to understand the difference between these lawsuits and a class-action lawsuit.
Class-action lawsuits are typically brought by a group of people who have all been affected by the same issue, such as suffering injuries from the same product. However, each person in the class-action lawsuit would have their own lawsuit.
The Zantac cancer lawsuits are all individual cases that have been merged into one multidistrict litigation (MDL). While each person suing Zantac has their own case, they share resources and information with other plaintiffs in the MDL. All their cases will be heard in a federal district court.
While a class action lawsuit can sometimes result in a settlement for all members of the class, an MDL does not mean that there will be a settlement for all plaintiffs. Individual plaintiffs in an MDL may still need to go to trial to get compensation.
How Much is a Zantac Lawsuit Worth?
While every case is different, a few factors that can affect the value of your claim.
- The severity of your illness: If you have experienced serious health complications such as any form of cancer, you may be eligible for more compensation than someone who has only suffered minor side effects.
- The length of time you took Zantac: If you took the prescription medication for an extended period, you may be entitled to more damages than someone who only took it for a short period.
- Costs of your medical treatment: If you have incurred significant medical expenses, you may be able to recover these costs through your lawsuit. If you have been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
What is the Illinois Statute of Limitations for Filing a Zantac Lawsuit
The Illinois statute of limitations for suing a pharmaceutical company is two years. This means that you cannot sue the manufacturer more than two years after receiving a diagnosis connected with the medication’s use.
Failing to file a claim within the two-year limit prohibits victims and family members from seeking damages in the future. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect you may experience Zantac’s side effects.
How You Can Work with a Zantac Lawsuit Attorney
A lawyer knowledgeable about Zantac’s health concerns and legal issues can manage your legal compensation claim. You can work with your lawyer to ask questions about the litigation process and get legal advice. They can also work with you to gather sufficient evidence like your medical bills to build a strong claim.
Your lawyer can provide these services during your time together for a Zantac lawsuit:
- Evaluate similar Zantac cases and see if they share the same characteristics, such as the plaintiffs suffering the same symptoms from taking the drug.
- Look into how the NDMA in the Zantac drug you took or its generic equivalents increased your type of cancer risk.
- Review the medical records from your healthcare provider, out-of-pocket expenses, and pay stubs to assess the total financial compensation. The evidence you provide forms the basis of your lawsuit and how much you can receive in compensation.
- Prepare your Zantac drug malpractice case that alleges how the NDMA caused your injury and the compensation you require for your recovery.
- File your case in court and represent you in front of a judge.
- Your lawyer can also file your case in a multidistrict litigation lawsuit and take part in settlement negotiations with the drug companies.
Compensation for patients harmed by Zantac
Typical Zantac compensation claims include these damages:
- Loss of wages if you had to take time off from work to recover
- Medical costs related to taking Zantac
- Loss of future earnings in the event you can no longer work
- Decline in mental health, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life as a result of the medical conditions caused by Zantac
- Punitive damages
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit
Those who lost loved ones from cancers related to taking Zantac can seek compensation through an individual wrongful death claim or a Zantac multidistrict litigation lawsuit. Family members can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including loss of companionship and consortium.
Reach out to a Personal Injury Lawyer Today to File Your Zantac Case
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer or any other serious illness because of taking Zantac, the personal injury attorneys at Nessler & Associates can hold the manufacturer accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.
With over 35 years of experience in personal injury claims, we can evaluate your medical records and file a Zantac lawsuit.
Call us at (800) 727-8010 for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help you pursue the restitution you deserve.