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Zantac Injury FAQs

Illinois Toxic Torts Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Zantac and Cancer-Causing Chemicals

For years, people have been using Zantac to treat conditions related to stomach acid, such as heartburn or acid reflux disease. However, this drug was recalled and removed from store shelves because it was found to contain a chemical that has been known to cause cancer. Because Zantac has been so widely used, millions of people throughout the United States may have been exposed to this harmful substance. If you have contracted cancer after using Zantac or are concerned about how you or your family may have been affected, our firm can answer your questions and help you determine your legal options.

Are Generic Versions of Zantac Safe to Use?

The recall included all medications containing the drug ranitidine, including those using name brand Zantac and generic versions of the drug. In addition to the over-the-counter versions of the drug sold in pharmacies and other stores, the recall also included prescription medications in both pill and liquid form. As part of the recall, stores have been instructed to stop selling all ranitidine drugs, and consumers should stop using these drugs and dispose of them using approved methods.

How Did Zantac Become Contaminated?

Zantac was recalled because it contained N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that may cause cancer. Technically, Zantac was not "contaminated," since NDMA did not enter the drug from an external source. Instead, the molecules of ranitidine are unstable, and they can break down in certain conditions, forming NDMA. Researchers who discovered this issue found that this breakdown is more likely to occur at higher temperatures, but it can also take place when Zantac is stored at room temperature. Because the drugs may have been exposed to changing temperatures during the manufacturing process, when being packaged and distributed, while on store shelves, when transported in consumers' vehicles, or when kept at people's homes, there is no way to tell when they may have broken down and become dangerous to use.

How Long Were These Unsafe Drugs Available to Consumers?

Since the presence of NDMA in Zantac is caused by the chemical composition of the drug, it is likely that this issue has been present since the drug was initially introduced to the market in 1983. Over nearly four decades, countless people have taken the drug, potentially exposing them to unsafe chemicals.

What Are the Risks of Using Zantac?

Scientists have not yet reached a consensus regarding how the use of Zantac may have affected consumers. Some researchers have found a link between the use of ranitidine and certain forms of cancer, including liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, and bladder cancer. One study reviewed medical records of over 450,000 people, 26,000 of whom had been diagnosed with cancer, and it found that 1.9 percent of people with cancer reported that they had used ranitidine. This study also found that ranitidine users were also nearly twice as likely to contract liver cancer. Research on this issue is ongoing, and scientists may find a more conclusive link between exposure to NDMA and different forms of cancer.

Contact Our Chicago Zantac Injury Lawyer

The forms of cancer that have been linked to Zantac use can be devastating, leading to significant issues that can affect a person's health and well-being or even threatening a person's life. Manufacturers of dangerous drugs and other products containing toxic substances may be held liable for the injuries suffered by people who have used these medications. A person may be able to take legal action to recover compensation for the costs of their medical treatment, the income lost due to their illness, and the pain and suffering they have experienced. If you want to know about your rights in these situations, our firm can answer your questions and explain your legal options. Contact us at 866-553-9812 to schedule a free consultation.

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