Thousands of lawsuits have materialized regarding the consequences of taking Zantac, an extremely popular over-the-counter heartburn medication.

Zantac's manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, has been accused of willfully ignoring evidence that their product contained high levels of n-nitrosodimethylamine and refusing to disclose this information to those who purchased it.

Why Causes Zantac to Be Dangerous?

Zantac, as well as its generic version ranitidine, is laced with a significant amount of a chemical called n-nitrosodimethylamine, better known as NDMA. In fact, there is so much NDMA in Zantac that it contains amounts thousands of times higher than what's recommended by the FDA for consumption.

NDMA is a carcinogenic molecule, meaning that it causes cancer. It can be found in small quantities in certain foods and was formerly used in the production of rocket fuel. However, it's primary modern day use is to encourage the development of tumors in lab animals due to its carcinogenic properties.

Zantac not only contains high levels of NDMA, but it appears to become more significant as time goes on, with older Zantac products containing higher levels of the chemical. This contamination can be further exacerbated if an individual contains significant levels of nitrites in their stomach.

The cancer-causing potential of NDMA tends to increase with repeated exposure over time. Temporary exposure is usually harmless, but repeated consumption can cause dangerous buildups of the chemical which increases its cancer causing potential exponentially.

Individuals who consume NDMA over the course of months or years are at huge risk for the development of cancers throughout the body.

Why Is NDMA Present?

While the exact reason why so much NDMA was found in ranitidine products is largely unknown, there are a couple distinct possibilities.

Given many of the base chemicals used to produce Zantac, it's possible that some interactions between molecules could produce NDMA as a side-effect.

Cross-contamination is also a possible avenue. Numerous pieces of equipment and materials used in the production of ranitidine might be laced with NDMA or frequent interactions with ranitidine ingredients might result in NDMA formation.

Why Are The Producers of Zantac in So Much Trouble?

Studies on ranitidine going back the early 1980s suggested that the medication had significant cancer-causing capability. Despite being aware of this, Sanofi-Aventis decided not to tell those consuming their product that these carcinogenic properties were present.

The general public was unaware of this for decades, until Valisure, an online pharmacy, conducted tests on all their ranitidine medications and realized they contained extremely unsafe levels of NDMA. Following this, Valisure recommended to the FDA all ranitidine products be rescinded for the sake of public safety.

After they conducted their own investigation, the FDA requested all ranitidine medications be recalled in early 2020 as they found unacceptable amounts of NDMA.

The Legal Basis for Lawsuits

Numerous parties have filed lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis and other ranitidine manufacturers, culminating in thousands of legal proceedings.

Many lawsuits have requested these manufacturers pay back the cost of the medication that customers have spent considerable amounts of money on over the years. Others are focused on compensating individuals who have experienced devastating consequences as a result of taking the medication.

Individuals who have developed cancer due to ranitidine carcinogenic properties are suing manufacturers for pain, time lost, and medical expenses.

In the more extreme and unfortunate case that someone has succumbed to the effects of cancer and has died, family members have filed suits in order to reclaim lost potential income, funeral expenses, and for emotional damages.

The primary justification for these legal actions is that manufacturers were well-aware of the presence of high levels of NDMA in their products. Although NDMA has been known to be a possible carcinogen and is specifically used to cause cancer in laboratory animals, these manufacturers did not feel compelled to tell their customers about the presence of the chemical, even though it was the responsible thing to do.

As a result, countless people have developed cancer and lacked the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding the possible dangers of taking ranitidine.

Subsequently, ranitidine producers are considered to be responsible for the pain, suffering, death, and general adverse consequences related to the consumption of their medication.

Continuing Developments

The negligence of ranitidine manufacturers undoubtedly led to the mass exposure of people to cancer-causing chemicals.

The effects of this are unlikely to diminish anytime soon as thousands of lives were irrevocably altered, leaving a lot of room for future developments in these ranitidine lawsuits.

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