Zantac Lawsuit

Zantac was one of the most widely used medications in the country for many years. People who suffered from acid reflux and heartburn trusted Zantac to help relieve their symptoms. Unfortunately, thousands of Zantac users have developed cancer over the years, and many cancer victims have filed product liability lawsuits against the makers of this drug. 

If you used Zantac and have received a cancer diagnosis, read on to learn more about the ongoing litigation and whether you may be eligible to bring a Zantac lawsuit to recover your related losses. 

Contact the dedicated legal team at Lawsuit Legal News

Zantac Lawsuit Update | March 29, 2024

Federal Court Decision Pushes Cases to State Courts

The federal court's decision on the Zantac lawsuit marked a major turning point in the litigation. Really, it ended it. The judge overseeing the case, Judge Rosenberg, ruled in favor of the defendants and, with that ruling, brought the federal aspect of the lawsuit to a close. This decision sparked discussions and analyses among lawyers and legal analysts over emails, phone, social media, and definitely in person. The ruling was quite a shock since the science seemed sound and it was looking like Zantac was going to be held responsible.

Here is what you need to know about that crucial decision and how it has impacted the Zantac lawsuit and the people who allege they were injured by the drug.

Reexamination of the Evidence Kills Federal Zantac Lawsuit

At the heart of Judge Rosenberg's ruling was their examination of the evidence presented by the plaintiffs. The judge concluded that the methodologies used by the plaintiffs' expert epidemiologists weren't reliable.

The judge's decision was largely made up by the plaintiffs' selective use of different studies and data that only supported their case and left out science that contradicted their case. More or less, they "cherry-picked" the evidence, and the judge found that they did it in a way that was beyond acceptable.

In fact, the cherry-picking of the Zantac evidence has raised concerns about evidence standards in health-related litigation that may affect other cases.

Overall, the Zantac lawsuit was an extremely complicated legal matter. The ruling put a spotlight on how legal standards are handled in procedures like the Daubert hearing, which plays a crucial role in determining which scientific evidence will be allowed at trial. And since the standards of a Daubert hearing differ from state to state, the federal lawsuit outcome showed how these nuances can greatly impact litigation of large pharmaceuticals and health-related lawsuits as state-based cases all come together into one federal case.

Although the federal court has made its decision, the legal battle still has some hope in the state courts. Each state has its own laws and legal standards, meaning that cases in state courts could get different results.

This independence has caused there to be coordinated litigation efforts which basically amount to "mini-Multi-District Litigations" (MDLs) in states like California, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Updated on California Zantac Mini MDL

California appears to be moving forward with state-based Zantac lawsuits. The dismissal of the federal class action lawsuits has led more plaintiffs to pursue claims in state courts. With Zantac's manufacturers agreeing to several confidential settlements recently, it seems the defendants are willing to settle to avoid trials. Hopefully, this is a sign that the defendants want to just close out these state cases now that they have dodged the proverbial 'federal bullet'. Both parties and the court in California are finalizing the trial dates for the next round of Zantac trials.

Updated on Delaware Zantac Mini MDL

Delaware's state-based Zantac lawsuits have recently gone through a Daubert hearing. This hearing will determine whether the scientific evidence and expert testimony will be accepted by Judge Medinilla So far, no ruling has been issued yet. Obviously the outcome will be important for how the lawsuits in Delaware will play out.

Updated on Pennsylvania Zantac Mini MDL

There isn't really any new information on the status of Pennsylvania's state-based Zantac lawsuits. We are waiting to hear more.

Continue to follow Lawsuit Legal News to stay informed about legal proceedings of the Zantac lawsuits. For now, it looks like whatever Zantac cases will survive will be in state court and there is a slim chance that the federal MDL will be appealed. As information becomes available, we will continue to provide timely updates and insights into the Zantac lawsuits.

zantac cancer link

Over 2,000 individuals joined a multi-district litigation (MDL) lawsuit in the United States Federal Court system against the manufacturer of Zantac. This widely used medication contained ranitidine, an antihistamine, and antacid used to treat heartburn. 

The plaintiffs claim that the makers of Zantac misled millions of consumers into "purchasing and ingesting a defective, misbranded, adulterated and harmful drug" while neglecting to disclose that the drug contained a probable human carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.

The initial Zantac lawsuit was filed after statements and actions by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which tested the product for the presence of NDMA. Sanofi finally voluntarily recalled the drug in the U.S. and Canada. 

Regrettably, the federal MDL was dismissed a few months ago. Since then, injured Zantac users have now filed state-level lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and California.

If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac between 1983 and 2020, it is essential to consult with experienced Zantac lawsuit attorneys as soon as possible. A dedicated dangerous drug attorney can explain how to file a claim and request damages for the financial losses and life impacts you have suffered after taking Zantac.

Do I Qualify to Bring a Zantac Lawsuit?

An experienced product liability lawyer associated with Lawsuit Legal News can help determine whether you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit during a free consultation.

The general criteria include:

  • You regularly used Zantac or another generic drug containing ranitidine daily for at least three months.
  • You’ve been diagnosed with cancer in one of the areas associated with Zantac use, such as your digestive tract or in your blood.
  • There was a latency period between starting Zantac use and your cancer diagnosis of at least one year. The specific timeframe required depends on your type of cancer diagnosis.

Contact the dedicated legal team at Lawsuit Legal News

How Experienced Attorneys Can Assist With Your Zantac Cancer Claim

The skilled attorneys affiliated with Lawsuit Legal News have extensive experience in Zantac lawsuits and are working with affected individuals throughout the United States. These attorneys have a strong national network of leading lawyers across the country who provide the best service for injured clients. They also offer local counsel services for out-of-state clients.

Zantac cancer lawsuits are not the only dangerous product cases these attorneys handle. The team is also pursuing other product liability claims against defective medications and products, including:

These dedicated lawyers are also targeting sex trafficking and sexual abuse claims nationwide.

Other dangerous product cases the Lawsuit Legal News attorneys have pursued include:


This prescription medication, used to treat bladder pain, has been linked to eye and vision problems, including:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Dark spots appearing in the sufferer's vision
  • The inability to adjust quickly to less light
  • Blurred vision

The experienced LLN attorneys have investigated hundreds of Elmiron claims.


The attorneys associated with LLN have also been active in mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is not curable, and those who receive this diagnosis generally have a life expectancy of about 12 months. 

LLN legal professionals have:

  • Thoroughly investigated many claims
  • Assisted clients suffering medical issues or their family members in gathering important evidence
  • Relied on their network of experts to assist with the testimony necessary to prove claims related to this illness
  • Filed lawsuits on behalf of their asbestos-exposed clients
  • Assisted clients with workers' compensation claims 

What Is Zantac?

What Is Zantac?

Ranitidine hydrochloride, more commonly known as Zantac, was invented by Glaxo Holdings, Ltd, and received its first FDA approval in 1983 for short-term use in treating a common form of ulcers. When the FDA approved Zantac, it was already reviewed and approved in 31 other countries. Within five years, Zantac became the best-selling drug in the world and one of the first to ever generate more than $1 billion in annual sales.

Zantac belongs to a category of drugs called H2 blockers. These medications were created to reduce the amount of stomach acid. Zantac’s prescription-only version was meant to treat:

  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers and stop new ulcers from forming
  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • A digestive disorder called Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome which causes pancreatic and small intestine tumors

For those who didn’t need a prescription-strength formula, the maker created a milder version of Zantac that was available over-the-counter to treat heartburn and other issues caused by acid indigestion.

Zantac Usage Instructions and Side Effects

The labeled instructions for Zantac noted that the user should take the medication orally and either with food or without. Recommended usage was once or twice a day, though some individuals were prescribed to take it up to four times a day. The most common side effects of Zantac mentioned were headaches, constipation, or diarrhea.

However, patients were warned to seek medical attention immediately for more serious side effects, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Mental or mood changes, such as agitation, confusion, depression, or hallucinations
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Severe tiredness
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Signs of infection, such as a sore throat, fever, or chills
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • The yellowing of the skin or eyes, known as jaundice

When Was Zantac First Linked to Cancer?

When Was Zantac First Linked to Cancer?

Although the medications containing ranitidine hydrochloride were extremely successful and popular, researchers found problems nearly immediately. In 1983, two Italian studies linked ranitidine to NDMA. The studies also found that Zantac contains dimethylamine (DMA), and when that is combined with nitrosamines, nitrites, and nitrates in common foods like grilled meats, it creates NDMA, which can cause damage to the cellular DNA of the cells in the human gastric system.

This damage could mutate DNA strands and create cancer cells in certain cases. As a result of these findings, investigators recommended that Zantac be taken without food, and the user could take Vitamin C, to help prevent cancer creation. 

Apparently, the drug manufacturers ignored these warnings.

 When Glaxo's ranitidine patent expired in 1997, other drug manufacturers rushed to join the success party by producing generic versions. In 2004, Zantac was approved for over-the-counter use. Sanofi became the manufacturer of Zantac in 2017, and the drug was widely available along with all the generic forms.

The FDA finally paid attention to the concern about NDMA levels in Zantac recently, as it investigated the effect of NDMA in other medicines, including blood pressure and heart failure medications. Eventually, the FDA officials recommended voluntary drug recalls, including other medicines containing NDMAs, such as Zantac. Experts now believe NDMA is likely a human carcinogen.

What types of Zantac cancers have been identified?

Several types of cancers have been linked to ranitidine ingestion, including cancers of the: 

  • Liver 
  • Esophagus 
  • Throat 
  • Stomach 
  • Bladder 
  • Kidney 
  • Breast 
  • Uterus 
  • Ovaries 
  • Testicles 
  • Prostate 
  • Thyroid 
  • Small Intestine 
  • Colon  
  • Rectum 

Blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may also be associated with the use of ranitidine-containing products.

So What Is NDMA?

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a yellow liquid with no odor. It was originally created to be rocket fuel, but that ended after regulators discovered that this dangerous substance was contaminating the soil, air, and water near the rocket manufacturing plant. Currently, NDMA is only used for research purposes in the U.S.

Regardless of the regulations controlling the use of the substance, we’ve learned that NDMA can be inadvertently made when certain chemicals react during some industrial processes. Also, small amounts of NDMA can be found in food and other products consumed by humans. This is the primary way most people are exposed to the substance.

Food and other products that commonly contain NDMA include:

  • Tobacco, including smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Cured meats, including bacon
  • Beer
  • Fish
  • Cheeses
  • Bathroom and cosmetic products such as shampoos and cleansers
  • Vehicle interior air
  • Household goods, including cleaning supplies and pesticides
  • Baby bottles and pacifiers made from rubber
  • Human breast milk
  • Municipal water supplies

We now know that NDMA can be formed in the human stomach during digestion, especially in foods containing alkylamines, which are naturally occurring compounds in various foods and drugs. NDMA can also enter the body through breathing air containing the substance, though NDMA usually dissipates quickly when airborn.

Experiments have indicated that after animals have ingested NDMA, it quickly enters the bloodstream and several body organs. When the substance finally reaches the liver, it becomes other substances that can leave the body within a day, usually through exhalation and normal elimination processes.

The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), classifies NDMA as “extremely hazardous.” Under  this Act, stringent reporting requirements apply to people and companies that produce, store, or use NDMA in large amounts because it is a probable human carcinogen. Medical experts also worry about how NDMA contamination can affect the human body.

How the FDA Has Responded to Zantac Cancer Concerns

The FDA finally addressed Zantac concerns during the fourth quarter of 2019. Here's a summary of the FDA statements and corresponding actions:

September 13, 2019: The FDA announced that laboratory tests revealed low levels of NDMA in products containing ranitidine. The agency began evaluating whether low levels of NDMA in ranitidine posed a risk to patients who used medications containing this substance. The FDA did not recommend patients using ranitidine stop taking their medication. It did urge those patients to talk with their medical provider about alternative treatment options and report any adverse reactions to the FDA’s MedWatch website.

September 24, 2019: The FDA announced a voluntary recall of 14 lots of generic prescription ranitidine capsules because NDMA was found in the drug. The agency stated that not all ranitidine-containing products had been recalled, and the FDA continued its investigation of ranitidine. Also, companies and regulators must follow a new testing protocol to detect the NDMA levels in ranitidine products.

September 26, 2019: Just two days later, the FDA announced the voluntary recall of over-the-counter ranitidine products produced by Apotex Corp and labeled by Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

October 23, 2019: Almost a month later, the FDA announced more voluntary recalls, including Sanofi's over-the-counter drug Zantac and ranitidine products sold by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, LTD.

October 28, 2019: More recalls of ranitidine products were announced, including products from Perrigo Company, Novitium Pharma LLC, and Lannett Company.

November 1, 2019: The FDA disclosed laboratory results from testing multiple ranitidine-containing products. The lab results showed NDMA levels similar to those commonly found in foods such as grilled meats. Although the NDMA levels were lower than in earlier studies, they were still higher than acceptable by agency standards. The agency's patient instructions did not change.

November 8, 2019: The FDA announced another recall, this time related to Aurobindo Pharma USA. The FDA advised all ranitidine product manufacturers to also recall their products and perform their own laboratory tests following the agency's testing protocol to ensure that the levels of the NDMA were not unacceptably high.

November 12, 2019: Two more voluntary recalls were announced. The new targets were products manufactured by Amneal Pharmaceuticals and American Health Packaging.

November 22, 2019: Even more voluntary recalls affected products manufactured by Golden State Medical Supply and Precision Dose Inc.

December 4, 2019: An FDA statement urged manufacturers to continue testing their ranitidine-containing products for unacceptable levels of NDMA. Products containing more than 96 nanograms per daily dose or 0.32 parts per million of the substance are considered unacceptable.

December 2019 to February 2020: Several companies voluntarily recalled their products because they contained more than the acceptable amount of NDMA.

April 1, 2020: The FDA ordered all ranitidine-containing over-the-counter products to be removed from the market immediately. Through further testing, the agency found the level of NDMA in these products increased over time when the product was stored at higher than room temperature. The tests also suggested  NDMA could increase when the product is stored for longer periods of time, even at room temperature. Finally, the FDA announced no new over-the-counter or prescription products containing ranitidine would be available for medical use.

Many products containing nizatidine were also recalled because they contained unacceptable levels of NDMA. Similar to ranitidine, nizatidine was a drug used to treat stomach ulcers and was also approved to treat occasional heartburn and acid indigestion. 

So far, the FDA has not detected unacceptable levels of NDMA in other medications used to treat the same conditions, such as:

  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)

The FDA was also concerned about the potential harm animals may suffer if given products containing ranitidine. The agency urged companies that manufacture animal drugs to also test their products.

What are the Potential Risks of Long-Term NDMA Exposure?

According to the FDA, humans exposed to higher levels of NDMA over a long period of time face a risk of harm. However, people with NDMA levels at or below the acceptable daily intake for a long time would not experience a higher risk of developing cancer.

Despite the Italian tests indicating high levels of NDMA in ranitidine in the 1980s, the FDA claims it does not know how long Zantac has contained high impurity levels. The agency assures it is constantly evaluating already-approved medications to learn more about the safety of those products over time.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and have used ranitidine drugs such as Zantac, the team of knowledgeable attorneys that supports Lawsuit Legal News can answer your questions and provide more information about your legal options.

Zantac Cancer and Liability Claims

Zantac Cancer and Liability Claims

Under product liability laws, injured individuals can bring a claim against a negligent company to recover legal damages. A successful claim must show how the company designed, manufactured, or marketed the product in a way that caused others harm. 

To bring a Zantac lawsuit, you would need to show that the drug was designed in a way that harmed users and that the manufacturers knew or should have known of the increased risk of cancer caused by the excessive amounts of NDMA in the medication.

Another possible legal theory involves a design defect claim alleging the drug was not created to minimize foreseeable risks to users. Also, you might be able to bring a marketing defect claim, which usually involves a failure to warn of known dangers. For example, if the manufacturer knew NDMA was likely to increase users' cancer risk but did not warn them, it may face liability for resulting injuries.

You may also have the grounds to bring a negligence claim, depending on your situation. In a negligence claim, you must prove that the manufacturer acted negligently or failed to act reasonably under the circumstances and that those actions or inactions harmed you.

For example, if a manufacturer knew NDMA was in its drug but failed to perform adequate studies to determine if users would suffer any adverse side effects, these actions could constitute negligence.

If you and your lawyer can establish the manufacturer's liability, bringing a Zantac lawsuit can help you collect compensation to cover your losses. The LLN team understands that financial compensation will not take away your cancer. However, it will help you receive the best medical care possible while allowing you to focus on your health and recovery instead of worrying about how you will pay for the medical treatment you need.

Zantac Lawsuit Lawyer
Zantac Lawsuit Lawyer, Matt Dolman

After you and your doctor have determined the best path for your medical treatment, speaking with the experienced Zantac lawsuit attorneys at LLN is essential. They aim to work hard to protect your best interests every step of the way. 

You deserve to work with skilled lawyers who have prior experience challenging big drug companies and showing how their negligent actions harm victims like you. By taking action and filing a state Zantac lawsuit against the drug company, you can begin the process that will help you recover damages for your injuries. 

Don't hesitate to seek legal guidance from the Lawsuit Legal News team if you have been diagnosed with cancer after using ranitidine drugs or Zantac. Our experienced attorneys can provide more information about your legal options and help you navigate the complex process of holding drug manufacturers accountable for their negligence. Contact us today.

Latest News