Zantac Recall Lawsuits: Your Favorite Antacid May Cause Cancer

Man Taking Zantac Pill

In early October of 2019, Zantac and its generic versions suddenly disappeared from the shelves at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and other stores. These pharmacies announced that they would no longer sell the popular heartburn medication to their customers. Why?

In September of 2019, the FDA issued a recall on Zantac and other generic antacids containing ranitidine. The FDA had found “unacceptable” amounts of a known carcinogen called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”) in Zantac’s ranitidine. Ranitidine is the active ingredient in Zantac that works by decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach.  

This is likely shocking to you; it’s shocking for us as well.

For over two decades, Zantac has been America’s trusted choice for prescription and over-the-counter antacids. Like many Americans, you’ve probably reached for Zantac to help soothe acid reflux or indigestion. Every day, millions of folks also use Zantac to treat more serious conditions like severe heartburn or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. 

In the next few years, we anticipate seeing thousands of Zantac lawsuits filed on behalf of victims and their families alleging that the NDMA-contaminated ranitidine caused their cancer.

We encourage you to keep reading. In this article, we cover the Zantac recall, the cancers linked to NDMA, and more. 


Woman with stomach cancer from Zantac

When you look at over-the-counter Zantac, you’ll see active and inactive listed on the side of the packaging. None of those ingredients themselves are known to cause cancer. 

However, the NDMA recently found in Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, is very carcinogenic to humans. At the moment, we don’t know how long Zantac’s ranitidine has been contaminated with NDMA. Regardless, if you take Zantac or generic Zantac regularly, you are at risk for developing many types of gastrointestinal cancer, including but not limited to: 

  • Liver cancer 
  • Stomach cancer 
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Intestinal cancer 


Scientist researching NDMA

According to the CDC, NDMA is an unstable organic chemical that is unintentionally created as a byproduct at many industrial sites. You’ve likely been exposed to NDMA many times in very small quantities, such as when smoking a cigarette or eating a piece of bacon. 

However, in larger doses, NDMA is very toxic to the human body (especially to the liver). According to the FDA, the amount of NDMA found in Zantac far exceeded the amount you should ingest on a daily basis.  

Additionally, no one disputes that NDMA causes cancer. NDMA has been recognized as a human carcinogen since the 1970s by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The FDA is currently investigating how such high levels of NDMA ended up in Zantac. Likely, this information will not come out until Zantac’s manufacturers are forced to hand over internal documents during upcoming and inevitable class-action lawsuits. 

People who took Zantac on a daily basis may have unknowingly ingested incredibly high levels of NDMA

If you are suffering from overexposure to NDMA, you may also experience liver damage. Other symptoms include: 

  • Headache
  • Fever 
  • Nausea 
  • Jaundice 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal cramps 
  • Enlarged liver 
  • Reduced function of liver, kidneys, and lungs 
  • Dizziness  

If you took Zantac frequently, you may be at a significantly increased risk for many types of cancer. From past studies, we know that NDMA is linked to certain cancers, including liver cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and intestinal cancer. NDMA ingestion from Zantac may cause all types of cancer. 


Zantac Lawsuit

At this time, we don’t know the extent of the damage that Zantac has done to the American public and the world.  With the information we have right now, the future of Zantac is not great. We know that the NDMA-contaminated ranitidine IS linked to cancer. Now, it’s just a matter of figuring out what types of cancers it causes. 

Several legal experts anticipate a wave of Zantac cancer lawsuits to be filed in the next few years. The number of lawsuits will cause the courts to consolidate them all in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). In multidistrict litigation, multiple civil cases that are suing Zantac are transferred to a single district court. 

A group of plaintiff’s lawyers has already filed a motion to consolidate all pending Zantac cases to a federal court in New Jersey. 

What does this mean for your Zantac cancer lawsuit? If this motion is granted and the court establishes an MDL for Zantac claims, that would mean your case would be consolidated in New Jersey. Your case would be under one federal judge, in addition to other plaintiffs’ Zantac cancer lawsuits. During pretrial discovery, the plaintiffs’ lawyers would ask Zantac to produce documents. The goal of discovery is to learn more about what Zantac’s manufacturers knew about NDMAs in the ranitidine and how that affected your cancer risk. 


At Shannon Law Group, we are sad to see another situation where companies put profits before people. Our team is currently investigating Zantac cancer lawsuits. If you or someone you love used Zantac frequently and was diagnosed with liver or gastrointestinal cancer, we encourage you to reach out to our team to explore your options. Your time to file a lawsuit is limited, so it’s better to contact us sooner rather than later. 

You can call us at (312) 578-9501 or fill out a contact form on our website here. If you have any questions about the Zantac recall, please reach out to us as well. We will continue to update you as we learn more. 

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