Zantac / Ranitidine Recall Lawsuit

Zantac Cancer Lawsuit

Many individuals are filing Zantac® Lawsuits with the claim of cancer as the injury as a result of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement on 4/1/2020 that it is requesting manufacturers to immediately withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs in the United States.

The recall is in response to an ongoing investigation of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is an active ingredient in ranitidine medications commonly known as Zantac® . What the FDA found is that the impurity in some ranitidine products can increase if stored at higher room temperatures over a period of time and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.

FDA Investigates NDMA Found in Ranitidine

In 1976, ranitidine was discovered in England and it was in 1981 when it came into commercial use. At the time, the World Health Organization labeled it as one of the safest and most effective medicines needed in our health system. In 2017 ranitidine most commonly prescribed medications in the US with over 16 million prescriptions.

Ranitidine is commonly used to treat the following medical issues:

  • Prevention of ulcers in stomach and intestines
  • Stomach and throat (esophagus) issues including erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease-GERD, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Heartburn

The FDA began launching its investigation in the summer of 2019. It continued laboratory testing and warned the public in September of 2019 of the potential risk of NDMA as a probable human carcinogen (cancer causing substance).

Low levels of NDMA are commonly found in foods and water but it has not been proven to increase the likelihood of causing cancer. It’s at higher levels of NDMA in ranitidine where the risk of cancer increases. Testing and evaluation by both the FDA and information from third-party laboratories confirmed that NDMA levels not only increase in ranitidine in normal storage conditions but they significantly increase when the product is stored at higher temperatures. In addition, the length of time since the product was manufactured can also impact the level of NDMA found in ranitidine.

Zantac® Recall – Unsafe Levels of NDMA

While the FDA ordered all Zantac® and related ranitidine medications to be immediately removed from store shelves and online pharmacies, the recall comes after many manufacturers had already voluntarily issued recalls. National pharmacy chains Walgreens, Walmart, CVS and Rite-Aid pulled all ranitidine-containing products from their shelves.

FDA is asking all consumers to stop taking any ranitidine tablets or liquid they currently have and dispose of it properly. Individuals who want to continue treatment for their condition should consider another approved product. For patients with ranitidine prescriptions, FDA recommends talking with their health care professional regarding an alternative treatment before stopping the medicine. Examples of alternatives that the FDA has tested and has not found NDMA include:

  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)

Injuries Related to Zantac

Zantac personal Injuries as a result of using the drug may include the following:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Intestinal cancer (small and large)
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Lung cancer (smokers and non smokers)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Throat/nasal cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver Failure
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Arrhythmia or tachycardia (heart conditions)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Nervous System Disorders

Zantac® Cancer Lawsuit

The first Zantac lawsuit was filed Sept. 13, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit accuses Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim of knowingly manufacturing and selling over-the-counter Zantac® containing a concealed carcinogen (NDMA) to millions of people in the U.S. suffering from heartburn and gastrointestinal problems (sour stomach, acid reflux, GERD).

Because users of  Zantac® were not warned that taking the drug could lead to cancer, many mass torts and independent lawsuits are evolving nationwide to hold the makers of Zantac® (and generic versions) financially responsible for their actions. Plaintiffs may be eligible to receive financial compensation for all medical expenses associated with the health condition, lost income if unable to work, pain and suffering, loss of normal life and other tangible and intangible damages. In addition, families can file wrongful death lawsuits for loved ones who suffered and died as a result of using the drug.

For those pursuing a Zantac® lawsuit after taking the drug, your personal injury lawyer will need to prove the following:

  • Use of Zantac® or Ranitidine (Generic Version): To pursue a Zantac® lawsuit, the first area that must be proved is that you took the drug. Fastest and easiest method to prove this would be to get your prescription records from your physician or the pharmacy. If the medication was purchased over-the-counter, getting proof might be more difficult but it’s still possible via receipts and statements from your physician.
  • Cancer Diagnosis: Zantac® and ranitidine are known to be harmful and based on use can cause cancer. To file a lawsuit, not only will you need to prove you have cancer but you will also need to prove the cancer is linked to NDMA. This type of validation can be made through medical experts.
  • Link Zantac® and Cancer: Through additional analysis and fact finding, your legal team will build an indisputable case by defining length of time (longer being better) and amount consumed (more being better) of Zantac® (or ranitidine) was enough for it to be dangerous.

Statute of Limitation

The statute of limitations to sue the drug manufacturers in Illinois is two years from diagnosis date. With the recent recall of Zantac, most victims should be within the statute of limitations.  But even if the limitation has passed, with the help of an attorney, victims may find it possible to still file a lawsuit.

Free Legal Help for Your Zantac® Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a defective product, contact Peter Washowski who brings more than 25 years of experience in this area. Peter will help you file a mass tort case for your Zantac® injuries and ensure that your legal rights to compensation are fully assessed and protected. Peter can be reached at 866-699-3339 or peter@bellas-wachowski.com.


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