A Brief History of Zantac
Zantac was originally invented by Glaxo Holdings Ltd (now called GlaxoSmithKline or simply "GSK") and was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983. Classified as a histamine H 2 -receptor antagonist or H2 blocker, Zantac reduces the acid produced by stomach cells. Zantac's first approved usage was for the short-term treatment of ulcers. At that point, over 31 countries had approved Zantac for use.
Pfizer gained FDA approval to sell over-the-counter versions of Zantac in the United States. This event led to a deal with Sanofi SA, the company that currently sells Zantac in the United States. Other companies that sold Zantac in America include Johnson & Johnson, Boehringer, and Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.
In October 2006, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals bought the U.S. rights to the OTC antacid Zantac from Pfizer for $509.5 million. Sanofi acquired the marketing rights to Zantac from Boehringer in 2017, prior to the recall.
Related Article: Zantac Litigation
What Went Wrong With Zantac?
Zantac and its ranitidine generic equivalents were withdrawn from the U.S. market in April 2020 because of concerns over levels of the contaminant N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which can increase with time and temperature, posing a risk of cancer. Patients were told to discard all products containing ranitidine and to consult their healthcare providers about alternative treatments.
Is There a New Zantac?
In April 2021, Sanofi released a new, over-the-counter (OTC) medication called Zantac 360°. The medication labeling denotes a “new formula” with the active ingredient of famotidine, a different histamine-2 (H2) blocker which does not contain ranitidine.
What is Famotidine?
While Zantac 360 is labeled as a new formula, famotidine is not a new ingredient. The popular heartburn drugs Pepcid and Pepcid AC also contain famotidine, which has been available OTC since 1995 and is currently available in both brand-name and generic formulations.
Related Article: Famotidine Recall
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Should I Be Worried if I Took Ranitidine?
The Food and Drug Administration is advising patients who took Zantac or any other ranitidine-containing medications to stop and ask their doctor about alternative options for treating heartburn and other issues. The risk of cancer increases with cumulative exposure to NDMA.
Get a Free Case Evaluation With Our Attorneys
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Zantac-induced cancer cases in all 50 states.
Again, If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.