Zantac Statistics: Cancer Data

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Zantac Statistics: Cancer Data

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

In case you haven’t heard, the heartburn medicine Zantac has been linked to cancer. Zantac was prescribed to not just relieve heartburn symptoms but to treat the condition overall. Studies done in 2018 confirmed that Zantac caused a huge increase in the carcinogenic chemical NDMA (nitrosodimethylamine) in its users. In September 2019, the Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying there was limited concern about high levels of the carcinogen being found in Zantac users. However, Sandoz, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Zantac, recalled the drug ranitidine anyway immediately after. (Ranitidine is the active ingredient in Zantac.) This is when the Zantac lawsuits began.


At this point, Zantac and the generic versions of ranitidine were pulled off the shelves at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacies, including over-the-counter versions of the antacid. The official FDA recall of Zantac did not begin until April 1, 2020. By then, the FDA had been able to more clearly link the drug, through their own research, to increased levels of NDMA. The observed increase was even greater when Zantac had been made with older ranitidine. It was even greater still when the Zantac was allowed to reach high temperatures (i.e., the temperature it would have no doubt reached in the back of a semi-truck on the road to your local pharmacy). 

Heartburn Statistics

Heartburn is a burning pain in your chest caused by stomach acid rising up into your esophagus. The pain can range from mild discomfort to pseudo-heart attack. Heartburn often happens after eating, when laying down, or late in the evening. Heartburn is caused by stress, eating acidic food, or a medical condition.

  1. Over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn on a monthly basis.
  2. 34% of people diagnosed with esophagus cancer claim they’ve never had heartburn.
  3. 10% of Americans experience heartburn daily.
  4. Over half of pregnant women report that they suffered from heartburn during their final trimester.
  5. Between 20 and 30% of adults experience heartburn weekly. 
  6. Hospitalizations for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (aka “acid reflux” or “chronic heartburn”) increased over 216% from 1998 to 2005.
  7. Virtually everyone will get heartburn in their life at least once.
  8.  From 1998 to 2005, there was a 42% increase in acid reflux/heartburn in babies.
  9. Heartburn affects 15 million Americans every single day and 60 million Americans per month.
  10. Of people who regularly experience heartburn, 40% report that it affects their sleep and their job performance the following day. 

Zantac Statistics

In 1983, Zantac was approved to treat ulcers in over 30 countries. In its almost forty-year history, Zantac accumulated some impressive and interesting numbers.

  1. By 1988, Zantac had become the #1 top-selling medication.
  2. Statista reported that in 2019 Zantac sales were over $136 million.
  3. A study conducted in 1996 found that the company that owned Zantac contributed much of its success to marketing (consumer-awareness bulletins, educating doctors, public service announcements, celebrity endorsements, media tours).
  4. In 1997, drug companies finally became able to produce generic versions of Zantac.
  5. According to information from one of the FDA’s websites, almost 700 people died from Zantac use between 1983 and 2020. The same database revealed that Zantac caused over 20,000 adverse reactions and about 8,000 serious medical problems in the same time period.

Help Is Available from our Zantac Lawsuit Lawyers

If you used Zantac, whether you were later diagnosed with cancer or not, you have rights. There are class-action lawsuits against the manufacturers of Zantac in a variety of states. If you were diagnosed with cancer relating to your Zantac use, please reach out to Malman Law’s Zantac lawsuit attorneys today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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