For years, Zantac made its way onto the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of drugs that were safe for developing fetuses. Recent FDA studies, however, have found increasing evidence that the drug contains a likely carcinogen and should no longer fall in this classification. Instead, if an expecting mother took Zantac during pregnancy, the child could be at risk of developing a birth defect or cancer.
If you or your child incurred any type of harm caused by Zantac, you have a right to seek compensation. Pursuing the results you deserve, however, can be challenging. However, a defective drug attorney from our team can help review your options and fight results in your case.
Understanding Zantac’s Dangers
Zantac is the most popular brand name of the ranitidine drug. Ranitidine is used to manage the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Zantac was first sold in the United States in 1983 and promptly gained widespread use. Zantac was even the first medication to surpass $1 billion in sales and currently has annual sales of $129 million.
Over the years, many scientific studies have drawn links between ranitidine and Zantac and cancer due to NDMA. Many people who have taken ranitidine or Zantac have been diagnosed with several types of cancer, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Small intestine cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Uterine cancer
What is NDMA?
NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine or dimethylnitrosamine) is a semi-volatile organic chemical that is recognized as a probable carcinogen, according to the FDA.
NDMA is found in both water and foods like dairy products, meats, and vegetables. NDMA is also used in gasoline and as an additive in lubricants. NDMA has also been used to manufacture liquid rocket fuel and is a byproduct of manufacturing certain pesticides.
The Zantac Recall
In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued a market-wide recall of Zantac. The recall applies to both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) versions of the medication. While most people have heard something about the Zantac recall, many still have questions about the medication.
Current FDA research has determined that:
- Both Zantac and the generic form of Zantac break down into the NDMA carcinogen while the medication is still in its packaging.
- Zantac also breaks down into NDMA after a person has taken the medication.
- Prolonged usage of either ranitidine or Zantac can lead to elevated levels of NDMA in the body, which can lead to cancer in pregnant women as well as birth defects in unborn children.
If you have questions about any medications that you took, you should contact your pharmacist and ask them to explain what drugs are found in the medication. If the pharmacist lists ranitidine, you should not hesitate to speak with one of our defective drug attorneys.
The Treatment of Heartburn in Babies
Some babies produce too much stomach acid. The muscle between the esophagus and the stomach is referred to as the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle opens so food can transition from the esophagus to the stomach. Most times, this sphincter closes so that acid cannot move back from the stomach into the esophagus.
Unfortunately, however, in some children, this muscle is not fully developed and lets some acid back into the esophagus. In these situations, the acid can then irritate the esophagus and cause a burning sensation. Too much acid reflux can result in both sores and ulcers.
While Zantac and ranitidine once played a helpful role in treating this condition, the parents of children who experience this condition must now pursue other safer options.
Birth Defects Versus Birth Injuries
Birth defects involve harm to a child that occurred before birth (such as exposure to a harmful drug) or something that happened during the pregnancy.
Birth injuries, however, are typically caused by an error that occurred during the delivery of the child. Approximately one in 33 children are born with birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Possible Birth Defects Associated with Zantac Usage
Several types of birth defects are associated with prolonged usage of ranitidine or Zantac during pregnancy. While there are many potential defects, some of the most common birth defects associated with exposure to NDMA include:
- Cleft palate
- Heart murmurs
- Neonatal deaths
- Postnatal cancer
Qualifying Factors for Zantac or Ranitidine Compensation
If your pregnancy resulted in a birth defect after taking ranitidine or Zantac or you or your child developed cancer after prolonged usage of these medications, you might be able to pursue compensation. If you satisfy the following criteria, you will likely be able to seek compensation:
- You have taken ranitidine or Zantac for a minimum of six months during pregnancy.
- You took a minimum of 300 mg/week of ranitidine or Zantac during six months of pregnancy.
- You experienced a birth defect.
- There are no more than five years between the birth and diagnosis of the condition.
Compensation You Could Seek for Damages From Zantac
If we can show that your use of Zantac led to your child’s birth defect, we may be able to seek several forms of compensation.
Depending on the details of your case, we may be able to help you recover costs and losses such as:
- Medical bills, such as emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medication, diagnostic testing, assistive devices, and more
- Ongoing medical bills, if your child will require ongoing treatment in the future
- Lost income, if you had to miss time at work in order to care for your child
- Pain and suffering, for the physical pain and other challenges faced by your child and your family
- And more
Essentially, the more severe your child’s injuries and the more costly their medical care, the more we may be able to seek on your behalf. We can tell you more about what damages you may qualify to pursue.
Who is Liable to Pay Compensation for Zantac and Ranitidine-Related Birth Defects?
Various reports suggest that the manufacturers of ranitidine and Zantac were aware of the medication’s potential risks since at least the 1980s.
Some of these manufacturers include GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi (who manufactured the brand-name Zantac drug), and other manufacturers who produced generic ranitidine and ranitidine equivalents. We can tell you more about who could be liable in your case.
How We Can Help with an Injury Case Following Zantac Use
Cases involving negligent pharmaceutical companies can be especially complex to prove. We can handle every aspect of a case for you so that you can focus on your family’s health needs at this time.
- Determine a fair value for your case
- Gather strong evidence to prove liability
- Handle all communications and negotiations with the other party
- Litigate on your behalf, if necessary
- Advise you through every step of your case
Gathering compelling evidence is key in a dangerous drug case. We cab prove your losses through your medical records, doctors’ testimony, other expert medical testimony, and more.
Get Help From Our Defective Drug Lawyers on Long Island
If you or a loved one has been injured by Zantac or any other defective drug, you can quickly find yourself facing various complications. If you retain the help of a defective drug attorney on our team, we can help you with the most challenging cases. We have recovered millions for injury victims and we will seek the best possible results for you.
Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today for your free consultation: (516) 358-6900.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900