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More Zantac Cancer Lawsuits and Recalls

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Drug companies accused of purposefully hiding the cancer risks associated with Zantac are recalling the antacid

Santa Clara, CAAs more pharmaceutical companies are hit with Zantac cancer lawsuits, they are recalling the acid reflux medication in the U.S. and Canada over complaints of a link to a probable carcinogen called called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that has already been found in animals.

What a difference one month can make. The FDA on October 22 released a statement after finding the levels of NDMA in Zantac “unacceptable”, which is a far cry from its previous September 13 announcement, which said  that “ranitidine from preliminary tests barely exceed amounts you might expect to find in common foods”. The FDA has advised drug companies to recall their Zantac (also known as ranitidine) if testing shows levels of NDMA above the acceptable daily intake, which begs the question: If so little is known about Zantac cancer risk, how can “acceptable” be measured?


Zantac Lawsuits


In a Colorado federal court, plaintiff Mark Allan Blake claims that Pfizer Inc., Sanofi US Services Inc. and other drug companies failed to warn him that the antacid medication) can produce a carcinogen called NDMA when digested.

Blake told a Colorado federal court that Zantac’s only use is to “induce tumors in animals as part of laboratory experiments…Its only function is to cause cancer. It has no business being in a human body,” according to court documents. Blake’s lawsuit argues that research going back to 1981 shows that that Zantac can produce high levels of NDMA, that drug companies knew or should have known about the risks, but hid this from the FDA. 

In his lawsuit, Blake said the same level of NDMA found in one 150 mg dose of Zantac is the equivalent of smoking 6,200 cigarettes. He has taken Zantac  four times a week since 1996 and was diagnosed with bladder cancer last year. The case is Blake v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 1:19-cv-02991, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

(A 2004 study found that people with peptic ulcers who were taking the antacid Zantac or Tagamet had a heightened risk of bladder cancer.)

Blake’s attorney is calling for Zantac to be immediately removed from the market and consumers need to be aware of safer alternatives. (According to the FDA, tests of samples of alternatives such as Pepcid (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole) show no NDMA in the medicines to date.)
 

NDMA and Zantac Recalls


One week after the first lawsuit in Florida was filed, Novartis announced it was halting the sale of its version of Zantac in the U.S. At the end of October, the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced a voluntary recall of its Zantac in the US and Canada.

Several blood pressure medications, including the angiotensin receptor II blockers valsartan, losartan and irbesartan, were recalled last year over NDMA contamination, reported Scientific American (Oct 28, 2019). The FDA was first alerted in June by the online pharmacy company Valisure about high levels of NDMA in ranitidine medications. In a citizen petition to the FDA in September, Valisure said it found “extremely high levels of [NDMA] ... in every lot tested, across multiple manufacturers and dosage forms of the drug ranitidine.” The petition states that Valisure detected levels greater than three million nanograms per tablet—far exceeding the FDA’s daily limit of 96 nanograms.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

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My father had heartburn like crazy. He lived in this stuff. He passed 2yrs. Ago due to bladder and prostate cancer and had to have them both removed and replaced with an illiostomy. He was a General in the Army. His masculinity was shot down.

Posted by

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I took Zantac for months and after awhile I developed serious dizziness. It was a nightmare. For months I couldn't do anything due to the Zantac. I ran out of it and couldn't buy more and after being off of it for over a week and the dizziness started to go away. After 2 weeks the dizziness was gone. Zantac almost my ruined my life and I was very debilitated when taking this. I had to get dizziness medicine. The doctor had me try physical therapy tp realign the crystals in my ears but nothing worked until I stopped the Zantac.

Posted by

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I was prescribed zantac and tagamet back in early to mid 90's. I took either one for prolong periods because I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. Since taking these, I've suffered with numerous of bladder infections that it spread to my kidneys. Although the these meds helped me with my stomach ulcer I didn't know what was causing my bladder infections. At the same time during and after taking these I developed endrometriosis in my left ovary and fibroids in my uterus. Would these be symptoms or cause from these meds? Do you know if I have a case if you pull my medical records from back then?

Posted by

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I took Ranitidine Tablets for years before it was changed to Prilosec. I don't know if this is related but approximately 3 1/2 years ago had colonoscopy and it was clean. Then had a severe case of colitis and they decide to do another colonoscopy. This one found 2 pre-cancer polyp and one non-cancerous. Now I have to have a colonoscopy every 5 years instead of every 10 years.

Could this drug have caused this issue along with other intestinal issues?

Posted by

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I got thyroid cancer, there is no history as far as o know of cancer in my family. But I have been taking Zantac for heartburn for years. Could there be a connection?

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I used to take zantac and now I have bladder problems. It isn't working properly and I have to take flomax now to help me go. Would this be a case?

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