Updated May 6, 2020
Zantac’s side effects primarily include digestive problems, headaches, and dizziness. But the current Zantac (ranitidine) litigation concerns the drug’s cancer-causing ingredient. People who developed cancer after taking the recalled heartburn medicine are suing the drug manufacturers for financial settlements.
In this article, our Zantac lawyers discuss:
- 1. What are Zantac’s side effects?
- 2. Does Zantac cause cancer?
- 3. Has Zantac been recalled?
- 4. What is the current state of the Zantac lawsuits?
- 5. Is there still time to sue for getting cancer from Zantac?
Ranitidine may cause various conditions other than cancer. Fifty Zantac-related side effects are the following:
- Blurred vision
- Hair loss
- Skin rash
- Skin peeling
- Erythema multiforme (skin disorder)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- No appetite
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Coughing up mucus that is yellow or green
- Liver failure
- Impaired liver function
- Impaired kidney function
- Interstitial nephritis (kidney inflammation)
- Inflamed pancreas
- Impaired lung function
- Dark-colored urine
- Stools that are clay-colored
- Enlarged liver
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Easily bruising or bleeding
- Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Atrioventricular block (slow heart rhythm)
- Elevated pneumonia risks
- Nervous system impairment
- Tender breasts (in males)
- Reduced sex drive
- Muscle pain
- Angioedema (swelling)
- Hemolytic anemia (red blood cells being destroyed more quickly than they can be restored)
- Pancytopenia (low red, white and platelet levels)
- Low levels of neutrophils and/or granulocytes (types of white blood cells)
- Blood vessel inflammation1
Many of these side effects are rare. But anyone who is experiencing these side effects is advised to consult with a doctor right away.
The science indicates that Zantac may cause cancer. According to online pharmacy Valisure, ranitidine causes the chemical NDMA to form in the body during digestion. NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine) is a “probable human carcinogen.” Currently, scientists use NDMA to cause cancer in lab rats.2
There is a possible link between taking Zantac and the following diseases:
- Intestinal cancer (including colon or rectal cancer),
- Bladder cancer,
- Pancreatic cancer,
- Liver cancer,
- Stomach cancer,
- Esophageal cancer,
- Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma, or
- Prostate cancer (for people diagnosed at age 65 or younger)
Anyone who developed cancer after taking ranitidine may have a legal claim against the manufacturer.
The FDA has requested that every pharmaceutical company stop selling its ranitidine products. So the medication is no longer available on the market.3
Patients who relied on Zantac are advised to consult with a doctor. There are other medications that can safely treat their heartburn.
People who developed cancer after taking Zantac are suing the drug manufacturers. There are potentially hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs who still have yet to file. All these lawsuits are being consolidated into an MDL (multidistrict litigation).
MDLs are a way to streamline litigation. One judge makes all the pretrial rulings. Eventually, a few of the cases go to trial. And how these bellwether trials turn out sets the stage for negotiations with the remaining plaintiffs.
The Zantac MDL is in the Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach). The MDL ID number is 2924. The presiding judge is US District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg. The drug manufacturers being sued include:
- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;
- GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Pfizer Inc.;
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC;
- Sanofi US Services Inc.; and
- Chattem, Inc.4
A final settlement is not expected for at least another two years.
Note that MDLs are not class actions. Unlike in class actions, MDLs keep every plaintiff’s case separate. And each MDL plaintiff gets a different settlement based on the unique facts of his or her case.
Most likely yes. But the statute of limitations depends on the plaintiff’s location.
In most states, victims have one or two years after getting diagnosed to sue. For victims diagnosed prior to the Zantac recall, the clock began running in 2019.
Zantac victims should consult with a lawyer right away. An attorney can evaluate their case and whether they are still within the time limit to sue.
Call an attorney…
Did you develop cancer after taking Zantac? Call our ranitidine lawsuit attorneys. Our goal is to win the maximum possible settlement in your case. And we take no payment unless we win.
- Zantac Tablet Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity, WebMD.
- FDA Updates and Press Announcements on NDMA in Zantac (ranitidine), FDA; Technical Fact Sheet – N-Nitroso-dimethylamine (NDMA), EPA (January 2014); Valisure, Citizen Petition on Ranitidine (September 9, 2019).
- FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) from the Market, FDA (April 1, 2020).
- MDL transfer order; Garza et al v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC et al, 19-cv-05772, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (filed September 13, 2019).