You took Zantac for relief from heartburn, stomach ulcers, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and the medication may have helped with those painful and potentially dangerous medical conditions. Unfortunately, you didn’t know it at the time, but Zantac may have also put you at risk for developing cancer.

Zantac Pills in Opened PackagingZantac is available both over-the-counter and by prescription. It is the brand name for ranitidine, an antihistamine and antacid drug. Millions of people in the United States use Zantac to treat heartburn, ulcers, and GERD, and millions of people may have been exposed to a cancer-causing substance known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) because they took Zantac.

NDMA May Cause Cancer

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have identified NDMA as a probable carcinogen. Low levels of NDMA are found in food and water and may not be linked to an increased risk of cancer.  Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers 96 ng to be the permissible allowance of NDMA each day. Yet, testing found that some Zantac pills contained as much as 3 million ng of NDMA in each pill.

This much NDMA could lead to many different forms of cancer, including but not limited to:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer

FDA Requests Zantac Withdrawal From the U.S. Market

In September 2019, the FDA warned the public about the potential risks of NDMA found in Zantac. The warning came after independent testing and FDA testing found low levels of NDMA in ranitidine. At the time, the FDA felt that it did not have enough information to recommend that people stop taking or continue to take Zantac. Accordingly, the agency just shared the information with the public.

That changed a few months later.

On April 1, 2020, the FDA recommended that all manufacturers withdraw prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine medication, including all forms of Zantac, from the market. The agency’s continued testing found unacceptably high levels of NDMA in some of the samples it tested. The risks seemed to increase the longer the medication was stored and if the medication was stored at higher than room temperatures. Since there was no way to know how each dose of Zantac was stored, the FDA recommended that all consumers stop taking over-the-counter Zantac immediately and talk to their doctors about treatment options before stopping prescription Zantac.

What to Do If You Took Zantac and Get Cancer

If you took Zantac regularly for at least one year and you were diagnosed with cancer, then now is the time to talk with an experienced New England drug injury lawyer.

You may have a case against a Zantac manufacturer, such as Sanofi or Boehringer Ingelheim, if you can prove that:

  • You took Zantac. Prescription records or receipts from over-the-counter purchases may establish that you took Zantac.
  • You have cancer. Your medical records will confirm your cancer diagnosis.
  • The Zantac you took contained NDMA, and the NDMA caused your cancer. You will need to present the results of scientific studies about the carcinogenic nature of NMDA and that your exposure to NDMA through Zantac more likely than not caused your cancer.

It can be challenging to bring a cancer injury case against a large pharmaceutical company. However, an experienced mass tort lawyer can help you recover compensation for your damages, including past and future:

  • Healthcare costs
  • Lost income
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Disability
  • Death of a loved one

Our trusted attorneys will provide you with an honest assessment of your case and explain all of your legal options so that you can make the decision that is right for you. Call us, start a live chat with us, or complete our contact form today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.

Are You Looking for a Mass Tort Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you have been injured by dangerous drugs you need to speak with an experienced mass torts lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer