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FDA issues full recall of Zantac heartburn medication

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Wednesday that it would implement a full, nationwide recall of the popular over-the-counter heartburn medication, Zantac, over concerns that it could potentially introduce a cancer-causing compound into those who take it. If you or a loved one has used Zantac in the past and subsequently developed cancer, contact a personal injury attorney from the Cambridge firm of Altman & Altman LLP right away to get started on a claim.

You may be eligible to receive financial compensation through a class action lawsuit or other legal action against drug manufacturers, or other negligent third parties who allowed the production or sale of Zantac to continue despite independent lab tests showing the possible dangerousness of using Zantac.

What made the FDA recall Zantac?

Up until this week when the news broke, the FDA had been hesitant to respond to claims from independent laboratories that Zantac was potentially dangerous. Independent tests had demonstrated that there was a possibility that Zantac broke down into a compound known as NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), which is a likely carcinogenic (meaning cancer causing) contaminant.

The tests revealed the creation of NDMA could occur inside of the patient’s digestive system once the medicine was ingested. One alarming study showed that just one Zantac tablet could potentially create 3 million nanograms of NDMA – when the recommended maximum amount of NDMA that a human should absorb in a day, according to the FDA, is just 96 nanograms.

Despite these alarming tests, the FDA only decided to issue a nationwide recall of all Zantac products once their independent investigation into the popular drug showed that NDMA production could occur if the medicine was stored at a higher-than-normal temperature. In their statements to press, they make the claim that they only pulled the medicine out of an abundance of caution.

How dangerous is NDMA?

NDMA is presumed carcinogenic due to its cancer-causing qualities in laboratory experiments on mice. It has been observed to be linked to various cancers, including liver, intestinal, esophageal, stomach, colorectal and, in more limited capacities, it has been linked to prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and leukemia.

Claims and lawsuits against Zantac for its presumed role in the causation of cancer are already in motion, but none have come to a settlement or award yet. With the announcement of the full, nationwide recall, it is likely much more attention will be paid to this issue and more claims will likely begin to pile up.

Contact Altman & Altman LLP today to file a claim

Drug manufacturers may have been aware of the potential dangers of NDMA production through the ingestion of Zantac as far back as 1981. Regardless, the medicine has been one of the leading over-the-counter heartburn drugs for many years – and the FDA has historically downplayed the potential risks involved with taking Zantac until this very recent recall.

Since the recall is brand new, now is the time to contact one of our experienced attorneys to see if you are eligible to file a claim for damages. A claim could potentially earn you financial compensation to pay for hospital bills that have resulted from being diagnosed with cancer and from lost wages due to missing work to recover from your illness.

Our attorneys have over 50 years of experience fighting on behalf of our clients in Cambridge, Boston and throughout Massachusetts. We think that drug manufacturers and governmental oversight agencies need to be held to a very high standard when it comes to keeping consumers safe. If Zantac was reasonably known to be potentially dangerous, but continued to be sold, then those who allowed that to happen must be held accountable.

Contact us online or call for a free consultation today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.

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