Zantac Side Effects Resulted in Esophageal Cancer, Lawsuit Claims

According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, side effects of Zantac led to the development of esophageal cancer, due to high levels of a cancer-causing chemical produced by the recalled heartburn drug.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Jerry Bentley in Connecticut Superior Court on June 8, indicating that the drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim knew or should have known that Zantac produces high quantities of the chemical byproduct N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which the World Health Organization has described as “clearly carcinogenic.”

According to the lawsuit, Bentley began using Zantac in 2000, and continued to use the heartburn medication through 2018. The complaint indicates that ranitidine contained in Zantac is inherently unstable and generated unsafe levels of NDMA, which he claims caused his esophageal cancer diagnosis.


Did you or a loved one take recalled Zantac?

Side effects of Zantac may increase the risk of cancer, due to chemical impurities found in the heartburn drug.


Zantac has been widely available as both a prescription and over-the-counter treatment for heartburn and acid reflux for decades. However, after it was discovered late last year that ranitidine may convert to NDMA when stored at high temperatures or inside the body, drug makers recalled most versions of Zantac from the market.

While FDA standards have established that maximum daily exposure to NDMA should be only 96 nanograms, testing has found that some 150 mg Zantac OTC pills contain more than 3 million nanograms of NDMA. Exposure to the known human carcinogen has been linked to reports of esophageal cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer and other cancers, raising widespread concerns among long-term users of Zantac.

Bentley’s lawsuit claims the cancer risk has been there since Zantac was first introduced.

“Since its launch in 1983, every manufacturer of prescription and over-the-counter Zantac has aggressively pushed a poisonous pill into the stream of commerce, while known that, when ingested, every single tablet (or every single dose) of Zantac, produces levels of NDMA in amounts that exceed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s permissible daily limits for the carcinogen by thousands of times,” the lawsuit states. “As if the formation of NDMA in the body from Zantac use isn’t bad enough, once it is present in the body, NDMA further metabolizes into other known carcinogens such as formaldehyde.”

The case joins hundreds of other Zantac lawsuits filed in recent months, each claiming that exposure to NDMA in Zantac caused cancer among long-term users. However, as Zantac lawyers continue to review and file claims in the coming weeks and months, it is expected that the size and scope of the litigation will to continue to increase nationwide.


Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal
BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal (Posted yesterday)

A BioZorb lawsuit has been filed by several breast cancer survivors after the BioZorb implants moved out of place and failed to dissolve int he body, requiring surgical removal.

Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October
Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October (Posted yesterday)

A U.S. District Court judge has scheduled a fairness hearing for October in order to determine whether final approval should be granted to a $25 million Philips CPAP recall settlement agreement, which would pay former users $25 million to pay for future medical monitoring needs.