In late 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began releasing alerts to patients and health care professionals regarding potentially cancer-causing chemicals found in Zantac (ranitidine), one of the world’s most popular heartburn medications.
The FDA recommended that ranitidine manufacturers test for NDMA levels and issue recalls if the levels exceed safe levels, which the administration considers 96 nanograms per day or 0.32 parts per million.
Since the release of this information, multiple pharmaceutical companies have issued voluntary recalls of ranitidine.
November 8, 2019 – FDA Alert Regarding Voluntary Ranitidine Recall by Aurobindo
On November 8, 2019, the FDA issued an alert to patients and health care professionals regarding a voluntary recall of the following medications by Aurobindo Pharma USA:
- Over-the-counter ranitidine tablets (150 mg)
- Prescription ranitidine capsules (150 mg and 300 mg)
- Prescription ranitidine syrup (15mg/mL)
These three medications were found to have unsafe levels of NDMA.
12/18/2019 – FDA Alert For Voluntary Ranitidine Recall by Glenmark Pharmaceutical Inc.
The FDA issued another alert on December 18, 2019, after Glenmark Pharmaceutical Inc. issued a voluntary recall for prescription ranitidine tablets (150 mg and 300 mg). These tablets were recalled due to potentially high levels of NDMA.
1/8/2020 – FDA Alert Issued For Voluntary Recalls by Appco Pharma LLC and Northwind Pharmaceuticals
On January 8, 2020, the FDA issued another alert to patients and health care professionals after two more pharmaceutical companies issued voluntary ranitidine recalls.
Appco Pharma LLC has voluntarily recalled prescription ranitidine hydrochloride capsules.
Northwind Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary recall for prescription ranitidine tablets (150 mg and 300 mg), which are manufactured by Glenmark Pharmaceutical Inc.
FDA Recommendations For Ranitidine Users
The FDA recommends that users of OTC ranitidine consider using other OTC heartburn medications, such as Pepcid (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole), which show zero presence of NDMA.
Prescription ranitidine users have been encouraged to talk to a medical professional about alternatives. According to the FDA, there are several other similar drugs that have been approved for heartburn treatment.
Legal Options For Zantac (Ranitidine) Users Diagnosed with Cancer
In light of this new information regarding a possible link between Zantac use and cancer, many cancer patients who have taken Zantac are concerned that the drug may have caused their diagnosis.
Some patients have taken legal action with lawsuits against Zantac (ranitidine) manufacturers due to what they allege is a failure to properly warn consumers about the potential hazards associated with taking these medications.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and have taken Zantac or another form of ranitidine, we advise discussing your legal options with an experienced defective drug lawyer.