According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) more than 22 million people visit their doctor and more than 8 million go to an emergency room due to gastrointestinal problems. Many of these people are prescribed, or have taken Zantac as a means of controlling the symptoms of these disorders. What many of us learned in April was long-term use of Zantac can cause other issues, including cancer. Because of this risk, the FDA requested the removal of these products from over-the-counter sales. This was well after a long history of problems associated with the primary medication in the drug, ranitidine. Unfortunately, this recall may be too late for millions of people who may have suffered the long-term impact of this drug and have already been diagnosed with cancer.
Ranitidine is believed to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which has been determined to be a carcinogenic substance. This drug is found in Zantac and other classes of drugs which are often prescribed by physicians for chronic disorders. The problem is, some of the patients who were on these medications long-term have now been diagnosed with various types of cancers.
If you, or one of your family members, were long-term users of prescription or over-the-counter Zantac, and have been diagnosed with cancer, you may wish to speak with an attorney who is currently involved in one of the many Zantac lawsuits which have been filed. Here are some things you should know about filing Zantac lawsuits.
How Do I Know If I Have a Claim?
If you have been treated with ranitidine for heartburn and other gastro problems, and subsequently diagnosed with cancer, you may have a claim. This is particularly true for those who have taken Zantac or similar products over a long period of time. This may apply whether you were prescribed these medications or you took them over the counter.
What Proof Do I Need to Produce For a Claim?
For those who have had Zantac by prescription, a history of your drug purchases should suffice. Patients who had over-the-counter Zantac recommended by their doctor should be able to prove they have used the drug by producing their medical records. There may be other options, including receipts from your purchases (if you keep them), Health Care Spending Account (HSA) records if you used those benefits to purchase Zantac, or in some cases, an affidavit from family members who are aware you took Zantac for an extended period of time while you resided in the same household may suffice. A drug injury lawyer can help you determine what level of proof you should have if you are considering filing a Zantac lawsuit.
I Took Zantac for Almost Five Years – Does This Matter?
In most cases, patients who took Zantac regularly for three or more months may have the grounds to file Zantac lawsuits. This is assuming regular use, for example, if you took Zantac one day a month for three months, you may not have a legitimate claim but, if you took Zantac daily for three months, you may have a claim.
What Types of Cancers are Applicable in Zantac Lawsuits?
Generally, the cancers associated with Zantac use include non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Leukemia, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, liver, bladder and pancreatic cancers as well as cancer of the stomach and small intestine. Remember though the science is not complete, nor are we certain these are the only types of cancers which one may suffer as a result of prolonged Zantac usage. Contact an attorney regardless of the type of cancer you or a loved one has been diagnosed with and let them check with their experts on your behalf.
How Can I Determine if My Cancer and Zantac Use Are Connected?
Generally, this is determined by latency. Latency means the time one thing occurred versus when another thing occurred – in other words, if you took Zantac for the first time a month ago and you suddenly were diagnosed with cancer, they are probably not related. However, if you took Zantac for a year and stopped six months ago, and you have now received a cancer diagnosis, they could be related. Simply put, you must have had an extended period of exposure before a negative outcome was reported.
Should I Contact a Zantac Lawsuits Lawyer?
If you believe you or a family member’s diagnosis of cancer can be tied to the use of Zantac you should contact an attorney who is familiar with dangerous drugs. Before you contact a lawyer, you should have the following information available:
- Whether Zantac was prescribed or over the counter
- Proof you have taken Zantac (medical records, prescription records, receipts, etc.)
- The time frame when Zantac was used (start and end dates)
- When the diagnosis of cancer was received
- The type of cancer diagnosis (e.g. esophageal, colon, etc.)
These are some questions an attorney will want to address during a free consultation to determine whether a Zantac lawsuit is appropriate in your particular case.
We depend on drug manufacturers to be honest with us in terms of the consequences of the medications we take to help us overcome various health issues. Suffering from heartburn should not result in our being diagnosed with cancer as a result of the drugs we are taking to control the discomfort associated with digestive disorders, yet thousands of people are now fighting cancer because they took what was considered a safe drug until recently.
If you or a family member was recently diagnosed with cancer and were a long term user of Zantac, contact Allan Berger & Associates today for a free consultation. We will be more than happy to review your medical records and help you determine if there is a clear line between the use of Zantac and your cancer diagnosis. Should we determine your cancer may have been the result of the use of Zantac, we can help you understand the various options for filing Zantac lawsuits and holding the manufacturer accountable for their lack of care in advising you of these potentially deadly consequences of taking this drug. If you have questions or you are concerned about the potential impact taking Zantac has had on your health or the health of a loved one, contact one of our litigation specialists at Allan Berger & Associates.