Xarelto, a blood-thinning medication, was deemed in 2011 to be a safe alternative to traditionally-used warfarin medication in preventing blood clots, which can lead to life-threatening strokes and other ailments. Despite the drug being tested and approved as safe, thousands of cases have emerged over the years that suggest the drug is anything but safe in all applications. The appeal for a warfarin replacement drug is obvious. Warfarin requires those who take it to adhere to a special diet and mandates keen attention by the patient and doctors to ensure that it is having the intended effect. Xarelto was marketed as a more simplified version of warfarin, achieving the same results but without the drastic change in lifestyle.
Xarelto is intended to thin the blood to prevent a blood clot condition known as deep vein thrombosis, which can occur in many places throughout the body but can also lead to developing blood clots in the lungs (known as a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition.) The most common applications of Xarelto are in people who have just underwent surgery, or people with atrial fibrillation, a heart condition which increases the risk for strokes. Xarelto has worked successfully for many patients, but conversely, thousands of patients taking Xarelto have experienced excessive bleeding and even blood clots as a result. There is no easy cure for somebody who has a negative reaction to Xarelto and, as a result, there have been thousands of lawsuits filed as a result of the pain, suffering and medical expenses incurred by those taking Xarelto and their families.
Xarelto is a multi-billion dollar cash cow both for its manufacturer, Bayer, and for its pharmaceutical marketing company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson). Despite the legal trouble and real cases of patients having life-altering consequences from taking the drug, the FDA recently reiterated that the drug is safe to be taken by patients with heart complications.
Do not take Xarelto if…
- You have an artificial heart valve
- You have an established history of uncontrollable bleeding
- You have underwent spinal surgery or had a spinal tap
- You are on a regular regiment of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIs) such as Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc.
- You experience stomach or intestinal bleeding
- If you are already on a regiment of aspirin, warfarin, Plavix, or certain antidepressants
The only way to know for sure if you are going to be okay taking Xarelto is to have an in-depth and detailed discussion with a doctor. The problem with Xarelto is not that it is inherently unsafe, but rather it is that there are a multitude of side effects and other conditions that can cause patients to have a life-threatening reaction. Continue reading