Zantac Lawyer New York
Are you facing a cancer diagnosis after years of using heartburn medication such as Zantac?
Zantac (Ranitidine) Cancer
Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are common digestive problems. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 60 million Americans suffer heartburn at least once a month, and 15 million face daily symptoms. If you suffer from the discomfort of these conditions, chances are you have taken medicine to relieve your symptoms.
Unfortunately, not all heartburn and reflux remedies are safe. Zantac, which was sold both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription, and its generic equivalents with ranitidine, contain n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a byproduct of manufacturing and present in most foods and medicines. At low levels, it is harmless.
But as Zantac medications age, their NDMA levels increase, so do cancer risks. 2019 saw a flurry of action that included citizen petitions, voluntary recalls, and research until the FDA ordered a recall in April 2020.
If you or a loved one have used ranitidine products to treat acid reflux, GERD, or heartburn, you must remain vigilant in observing any new side effects and new symptoms. Throw away any ranitidine products currently in your possession. If you develop symptoms, see a doctor immediately. These products may cause cancer. If you do develop cancer after taking Zantac or other ranitidine products, please know that our Zantac law firm is here to help you. What are Zantac and Ranitidine?
Zantac is the brand name for Ranitidine. Ranitidine treats stomach and intestinal ulcers and keeps them from returning. It is also a common treatment for stomach and throat issues, including erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
The drug belongs to a class of drugs called H2 blockers. The “H2” refers to histamine-2, which regulates stomach acid production. Heartburn, acid reflux, and other conditions develop when histamine-2 creates too much stomach acid.
As the name implies, H2 blocker heartburn medications block histamine-2 from producing stomach acid. Reducing stomach acid virtually eliminates stomach pain, reflux, swallowing difficulty, and persistent coughing.
Before the recall, drug stores and distributors marketed ranitidine under several store brands and names.
If you still have Zantac brand name and generic varieties at home, you may see them as:
- Zantac 150 Tablets
- Zantac 150 Maximum Strength
- Zantac 150 Maximum Strength Cool Mint
- Zantac 75 Tablets
- Wal-Zan 150 (Walgreens)
- Wal-Zan 75
- Equate Ranitidine (Walmart)
- Member’s Mark Ranitidine (Sam’s Club)
- Kroger Ranitidine
- CVS Health Ranitidine
This list is not comprehensive; other store brands likely released their own versions of Zantac products. Check heartburn relief medication labels for ranitidine to know for sure; you will find it a primary active ingredient. Competing brands like Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), and Prilosec (omeprazole) do not contain ranitidine or give cause for concern at this time.
Effects From Using Zantac and Ranitidine
Zantac and ranitidine are problematic because as they age, their levels of the human carcinogen called n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) rise to unsafe levels. While NDMA is a normal byproduct of manufacturing, in higher amounts, it becomes dangerous.
Concerns with Zantac and ranitidine started after Valisure, an online pharmacy service, filed a citizen petition to review the drug’s safety. That company’s research found high levels of NDMA in these products which was a significant consumer safety concern. They documented rising amounts of this carcinogen as these products aged. As a result of this investigation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization (WHO), began to study this class of medicines. The FDA released its first announcement regarding its concerns about ranitidine in September 2019, and WHO released an Information Note about NDMA in Zantac and related medicines in November 2019.
WHO research determined that consuming 96 nanograms of NDMA a day was safe. The FDA recalled for voluntary recalls, which inspired a large response from all major drug stores and distributors. The product remained on the shelves even after the 2019 discoveries.
As the research into these products progressed, more information emerged regarding ranitidine dangers. Pharmaceutical companies, including Emery Pharma, found NDMA in ranitidine increased by 25 nanograms after the drug sat at room temperature for 12 days, exceeding safe limits. This issue became especially concerning if patients used blood pressure medication that also contained NDMA nanograms. The combination of drugs would yield unsafe amounts for human consumption.
FDA recalled ranitidine products, both prescription and over-the-counter, on April 1, 2020. It based the recall on the presence of contaminants and impurities resulting from exposure to heat and age. The FDA did not elaborate on the extent of danger involved with these products — only that the matter requires further evaluation.
Sanofi, Sandoz, Apotex, Perrigo, GlaxoSmithKline, and other pharmaceutical companies recalled ranitidine medications. At this time, it is nearly impossible to buy OTC ranitidine.
At this time, researchers consider links between high levels of NDMA, NDMA contamination, and cancer risk are highly probable. What we have learned so far is that high levels of NDMA in Zantac and Zantac-type products may result in the following types of cancer:
- Acute lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Esophageal/nasal/throat cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer (for non-smokers)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory Tract
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
These are never easily proven claims, but the correlation between Zantac and cancer is becoming increasingly clear.
If you have not already done so, please immediately remove Zantac and ranitidine products from your home, and stop taking them. If you or a loved one has already been diagnosed with cancer it may be time to speak with one of our attorneys about a personal injury or wrongful death Zantac claim.
Should I file a Zantac Lawsuit? Or can I be a part of a Class Action Lawsuit?
If you have a Zantac cancer claim, you can file an individual lawsuit, join a class action, or file your own class-action lawsuit. We will discuss all options during your free consultation, but here is a general overview to help you assess what to expect.
In order to start a Zantac lawsuit, you have to meet the following three qualifications:
Proof of Zantac Use
You must show that you used Zantac or a similar product containing NDMA. Drug store receipts, doctor prescriptions, or medical records that show you have purchased or were prescribed the medication are all acceptable forms of documentation of this element another way to prove this is witness testimony if a friend or family member picked up medication for you. If you are filing a wrongful death suit after losing a loved one, your testimony as a caretaker along with your relative’s medical records may be enough evidence to satisfy this element of proof.
Proof of Cancer Diagnosis
Medical records are important proof of this element.
You must show that your cancer developed after taking Zantac over a long period of time. If you or your loved one started using Zantac or a generic ranitidine medication after a cancer diagnosis, you likely could not prove a link. Or, if you or your relative only took Zantac for a few weeks, you will not be able to prove this part of your claim. However, if ranitidine products, including Zantac, were part of a long course of treatment before you developed cancer, you are likely eligible to file a Zantac lawsuit.
Once you meet these three elements, you can decide to pursue damages individually or as part of a class-action lawsuit.
If you proceed as an individual, you will file a lawsuit against ranitidine manufacturers and distributors. Your complaint would allege that these parties failed to warn against the cancer risks and that failure put you or your loved one in danger of developing cancer. It is a personal injury claim based on negligence; its basis is that companies knowingly or negligently released a dangerous product to consumers, and you suffered harm due to that decision.
If successful, you may collect damages against these parties based on their negligence. These damages are personal to you and your loved one; they may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In severe cancer cases, courts may also consider long term pain and suffering, future medical bills, and financial and emotional distress sustained by dependents and partners. Damages may also include funeral and burial expenses if your loved one has passed away due to cancer.
Zantac Class Actions
Zantac class action lawsuits start with one individual but expand to include others who also faced cancer diagnoses after taking the medicine. Individuals who pursue this kind of lawsuit can either start their own case or may join a class action already in progress.
Class actions range in size. There may be a few plaintiffs or thousands. There are class-action lawsuits with millions of litigants! However, only one person, the lead plaintiff who initiated the lawsuit, needs to play an active role. Other plaintiffs may choose to join or opt-out of the class action. Their only duty is to remain informed and collect their settlement portion when it is available.
In order to succeed in a class action, a court must conclude that the legal claim against the defendant is legitimate and that the defendant’s negligence harmed many people or resulted in their illnesses. Once a court completes this certification, it notifies all individuals affected by the lawsuit and gives them the option to join in. Those who chose to opt-in receive updates throughout the litigation.
Multidistrict lawsuits (MDL) are a hybrid of personal injury and class action lawsuits. But you can not choose this route; courts usually create these arrangements for efficiency reasons. MDLs comprise many individuals with separate lawsuits. While the class action is one lawsuit to secure a settlement for many, the MDL maintains individual lawsuits and claims damages. However, the sheer number of lawsuits may persuade a court to group all of them into one case under one jurisdiction. This ruling improves efficiency and streamlines the civil process without limiting damages for litigants.
Choosing a lawsuit type depends on your damages and purpose. If you have suffered the loss of someone you love, or if you have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of taking Zantac or a Zantac-type product, please contact the Zantac lawyers at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm for a free consultation and we will explain the various types of lawsuits that are available to you.
Types of Compensation Awarded From Zantac Lawsuits
You may receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other impacts on your lifestyle. Your awarded damages depend on many factors, starting with the type and severity of cancer.
Specifically, courts may consider:
- Effects on immediate and long-term health;
- Impacts on quality of life due to cancer;
- Emotional distress and other injuries to people close to you;
- Financial impacts; and
- Effects on life overall, including future quality of life, financial situation, and health.
If cancer arising from Zantac resulted in death, you would file a wrongful death claim. Damages are similar to those listed above but focus primarily on how losing your loved one affected your quality of life, financial solvency, and mental status. If you were financially dependent, incurred large medical bills, or very close to the deceased (spouse, sibling, etc.), you will likely receive a higher settlement amount than someone who was less dependent on their loved one.
These are not simple cases. Linking the medication and cancer involves meticulous interviews with medical providers and experts. The only way to ensure these lawsuits proceed correctly and successfully is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
Speak With an Experienced NYC Zantac Lawyer Today
If you face a cancer diagnosis after years of using heartburn medication such as Zantac, there may be a link between that medicine and your current health condition. The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm offers compassionate and thorough legal representation for those personally injured in all five boroughs of New York City and throughout the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Contact us or call 212-869-3500 to schedule a free case evaluation.
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