On Sept. 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that tests found some samples of ranitidine, a popular heartburn medication known by the brand name Zantac, contained a contaminant, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
At that time, the FDA encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report any adverse events or side effects.
On April 1, 2020, the FDA asked manufacturers to pull ranitidine, available in prescription and over-the-counter forms, completely off the market.
The FDA determined the impurity in some ranitidine drugs grows over time; and when stored at higher than room temperatures. This potentially exposed consumers to unacceptable levels of NDMA, an environmental contaminant found in water and foods, including meats dairy products and vegetables.
According to Healthgrades.com, ranitidine ranked 50th on their list of the top 50 drugs prescribed in the U.S. Some of the mediations, like Zantac, are also available as OTC medications.
Zantac was the first heartburn drug to surpass $1 billion in annual sales, back in 1988. Millions of Americans have made it one of the most commonly-taken medications for heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach ulcers.
Before the FDA recalled ranitidine in April, only a few batches of OTC ranitidine were removed from drugstore shelves.
Now, the recall has created tremendous revenue potential for mass tort attorneys seeking to recover damages for individuals potentially affected.
As a result of the recall, reports show, numerous plaintiffs have filed lawsuits claiming Zantac affected their health. These include prostate cancer (Florida), kidney cancer (Ohio), colon cancer (California) stomach cancer (North Carolina) and bladder cancer (Colorado).
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