On April 1, 2020, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that due to an increased cancer risk, it requested that drug manufacturers and companies stop selling prescription and over-the-counter Zantac and its generic form, ranitidine. According to the FDA, anyone who has ranitidine drugs at home should stop taking it and dispose of it, after speaking to their doctor about other options for heartburn and excess acid.

Zantac and its generic alternative, ranitidine, are a popular and widely used medication that many people have been taking for years. Now that the cancer risk has been confirmed, anyone who has been taking these drugs should seek legal assistance to see if they are entitled to compensation through a lawsuit.

The experienced lawyers for drug injury lawsuits at Wapner Newman are already investigating cases of individuals diagnosed with cancer who had been taking Zantac. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and was taking Zantac, our attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We have extensive resources to investigate your case, and there is never a fee unless we win a settlement for you.

Call the Zantac recall attorneys at Wapner Newman today at (215) 569-0900 for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation.


The FDA already made the connection between Zantac and cancer in the fall of 2019. The problem is due to a presence in the drug of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is known to probably be carcinogenic (cancer causing) in humans.

NDMA can cause cancer and does so by modifying deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the substance in cells that contains our genetic code. This genetic code has instructions for building the proteins in our body and is passed from parents to the next generation. When DNA is modified or changed, it can cause cells to become cancerous.

Cancers said to be linked to NDMA are usually part of the gastrointestinal system that the drug is geared to and include:

  • Liver cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine cancer


The FDA became aware of independent laboratory testing that found inacceptable levels of NDMA in ranitidine in September 2019. The tests were done by an online pharmacy called Valisure, a maker of generic ranitidine that tests its own drugs for quality. The testing concluded that ranitidine had levels of NDMA that were higher than the FDA’s acceptable limits.

While low levels of NDMA are present in some foods and in water, these levels are not expected to lead to an increased the risk of cancer. However, if people are exposed over time to higher levels of NDMA, the risk of cancer increases.

Initially when the FDA conducted its laboratory tests, it found NDMA in ranitidine at low levels, but it felt it did not have enough scientific evidence to recommend people stop taking it. The FDA issued a warning about potential risks in September and continued to investigate the connection between ranitidine, and its brand name counterpart, Zantac, and cancer further.

Now, based on new testing and the tests from the outside laboratories, the FDA feels that the link to cancer is enough to pull ranitidine completely off the market. The reasoning is due to the following facts:

  • NDMA has been found to increase significantly in samples stored at higher temperatures, including temperatures the product may be exposed to during distribution and handling by consumers and storage in the home.
  • NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions.
  • The older a ranitidine product is and the longer the length of time since it was manufactured, the greater the level of NDMA.

According to Harvard University, although the FDA did not observe unacceptable levels of NDMA in many of the samples they tested, they determined that the NDMA in some ranitidine products increases over time, when stored at higher than room temperatures. This determination made the FDA decide to remove ranitidine products from the market.


As the link between Zantac and cancer has been made public, people who have cancer that could be related to taking Zantac have the option of bringing a lawsuit against the manufacturer for the damages they suffered. In the 1980s, ranitidine was suspected of reacting with nitrite in the stomach to make NDMA.

Since millions of people have been taking Zantac over a long period of time, it is expected that the future will bring a mass of lawsuits that could be larger than any other defective drug case to date. Lawsuits have claimed that the amount of NDMA in Zantac can be 3,000 times higher than the maximum allowed by the FDA.


Lawsuits have already been filed that allege that Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, the big manufacturers of Zantac, concealed the Zantac and cancer link from millions of people who took the drug. The companies kept this information private despite studies going all the way back to the 1980s that showed potential problems. These big pharma companies made enormous profits doing so.

While the courts have long held that since drugs are inherently dangerous, drug manufacturers are not strictly liable for harm caused by taking them, this is not the case when manufacturers knew of — and concealed — dangers to the public. While the makers of Zantac and manufacturers of ranitidine had opportunities to warn and protect consumers about the cancer danger, they failed to do so. Whether a consumer took the brand name or the generic medication, the manufacturer still owes a duty to inform them about potential dangers. Generic drugs are required to have a warning that is the same as their brand-name counterpart.

Anyone who used Zantac or ranitidine on a regular basis for any extended period of time and was then diagnosed with cancer has the potential to bring a lawsuit. Those who took Zantac by prescription rather than over-the-counter will have a better chance of proving their case as there will be a record of the prescriptions that were filled.

If you believe you may have a legal claim, contact the Zantac recall lawyers at Wapner Newman. Our skilled drug injury lawyers have the experience you need to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.


There are several types of Zantac lawsuits that can be filed, depending on your situation. These include:

Zantac Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit allows consumers who bought Zantac to recover money spent on the drug because the manufacturer failed to warn the public about cancer risks. Since the manufacturers made money by concealing the risks of dangerous Zantac side effects, they can be held accountable in a class action case.

You do not have to have developed cancer to participate, and you do not have to prove that you were harmed, only that that you purchased Zantac and were not warned about the Zantac cancer risk.

Zantac Personal Injury Lawsuits

A personal injury lawsuit is filed by individuals who developed cancer after taking Zantac. In a successful injury lawsuit, you may receive compensation for:

Compensatory Damages – This type of damages cover compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages.

A. Economic Damages – Economic damages cover your actual cost of bills for medical care and other calculable expenses, including:

  • Medical, nursing, prescription, and rehabilitation expenses and ongoing care
  • Lost wages from not being able to work

B. Non-economic Damages – Compensation for losses that do not have a specific dollar value, but negatively affect your life are considered non-economic damages. This award serves to go beyond covered expenses to directly benefit you and your family and may include:

  • Physical, mental, emotional pain and suffering, anguish, anxiety, and stress
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, and enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages – If damages were caused by actions that were willful or wanton misconduct or reckless indifference to your rights, you may also be awarded punitive damages.

Zantac Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit, but it is filed by the family members or the estate of a person who died.

If you have any questions as to whether you qualify for a Zantac-related lawsuit, the drug- injury lawyers at Wapner Newman will be happy to answer them.

Call our Zantac recall lawyers today at 215-569-0900. You can also contact us via our online form.


Ranitidine is the generic form of the brand-name Zantac, and has the same active ingredient, chemically known as ranitidine hydrochloride. While Zantac and ranitidine are basically the same medication, there may be different formulations and fillers depending on the manufacturer. Both Zantac and generic ranitidine belongs to a class of drugs called histamine H2-receptor antagonists (or H2 blockers). They are taken to decrease the amount of acid produced by the stomach and treat conditions such as acid reflux, heartburn and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Brand Names for Ranitidine Medications

Both forms of the drug are available over-the-counter and by prescription, depending on the strength involved. Some of the most common Zantac brands and generic ranitidine brand names are:

  • Zantac 150 Tablets
  • Zantac 150 Maximum Strength
  • Zantac 75 Tablets
  • Wal-Zan 150
  • Wal-Zan 75
  • Ranitidine for Heartburn Relief
  • Ranitidine Acid Reducer or acid control


If you or a family member has been harmed by Zantac or generic ranitidine, you should get legal advice to see what kind of compensation you may be entitled to and what would be the best way to proceed. The drug injury attorneys at Wapner Newman have the staff, expertise and know-how to get you the best results, and we will make the process as simple as possible.

To get started exploring your options, call Wapner Newman at (215) 569-0900 for a free consultation today.