One complainant, Californian Ronald Johnson, has been taking 150 mg of the drug regularly since 2004. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
He joins more than 12 other complainants to file damages against the drug's manufacturers Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, who have all made versions of Zantac (ranitidine), including over-the-counter remedies.
The complaints relate to a range of digestive cancers, including colon, rectal, esophageal, stomach, bladder and liver cancers.
The drug contains the cancer-causing chemical NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine), but the public was not aware of the large amounts in the drug until an independent pharmacy carried out its own tests and discovered that a 150mg Zantac pill could contain up to 3 million nanograms (ng) of NDMA, when the safe upper limit is just 96ng.
Zantac was launched in 1986 and just two years later became the first drug to surpass $1 bn in sales in one year.