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What NDMA is and what overexposure looks like

What began as a recall of heart failure and blood pressure medications continues to expand to other popular medications taken for heartburn by numerous people across the country. To this point, most Ohio residents have heard about the recall of Zantac and its generic equivalents due to the same impurity that could cause cancer. The problem is that most people do not understand what NDMA is and how to tell if they suffered too much exposure to it.

The proper name of NDMA is N-nitrosodimethylamine. It is a chemical found in natural and industrial processes. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a "possible human carcinogen" because it can alter DNA. Testing in animals indicates it causes cancer, but the evidence regarding an increase in cancer in humans is not consistent. Even so, its presence in over-the-counter and prescription medications in concentrations above those allowed by law is driving the current ranitidine recalls.

People who take, or took, ranitidine occasionally may not have anything to worry about. However, those who took it regularly may want to monitor themselves for symptoms of overexposure to NDMA. Those symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, dizziness and abdominal cramps. Any ranitidine takers who experience these symptoms may want to consult with their physicians.

Anyone exhibiting these symptoms or who recently received a cancer diagnosis after taking ranitidine regularly may have a product liability claim against one or more parties, and explaining what NDMA is and how it affected his or her health will be an integral part of a claim. Pharmaceutical litigation is notoriously challenging, and it would be wise not to undertake it alone. Moreover, it would be beneficial to work with an Ohio attorney experienced in this area of law.

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