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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

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are surgical devices that are threaded into the body through the skin and are intended to prevent life-threatening blood clots from forming after a medical procedure or accident. IVC filters can be implemented permanently or temporarily and removed once the patient’s risk of blood clotting is reduced. Over 250,000 of these devices have been installed as of 2012.  However, even though an IVC filter is intended to be retrieved, there is no guarantee that it can be successfully removed. In fact, in a recent study of patients who had plans to have their temporary IVC filters installed, over 25% of them were unable to have their filters successfully removed. The longer that a temporary filter is left in the body, the higher the chance of something going terribly wrong.

Dangers of IVC filters

Despite being approved by the FDA decades ago, it has been revealed in recent years that these delicate devices are prone to malfunctioning and even breaking. As a result, pieces of the IVC filters can then travel through a person’s body causing serious or even deadly injuries such as piercing internal organs or causing blockages in the blood stream.

Other side effects of a malfunctioning IVC filter device include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irregular breathing and chest pain
  • Heart damage
  • Fluid buildup around the heart

Currently the FDA is collecting more analytical information to assess the risks versus benefits of temporary IVC filters. In the meantime, many people who have suffered as a result of these devices are filing suit against the manufacturing companies. These include Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, the latter of which has had over 100 suits filed against them. Continue reading

Xarelto is a popular anticoagulant (blood thinner) used by thousands of patients at risk of blood clots, atrial fibrillation, and stroke. Marketed as a lower-maintenance alternative to predecessor Coumadin, the relatively new drug grew quickly in popularity. Although Xarelto doesn’t require the regular patient monitoring required by Coumadin, it does have at least one significant drawback – there is no antidote to hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding caused by Xarelto. To be fair, this is much more than a drawback; patients have died.

More than 7,000 lawsuits directed at Xarelto manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, have been reported as of this date. Many of these lawsuits claim harm due to uncontrolled bleeding following Xarelto use and failure to warn patients of life-threatening side effects. All anticoagulants have a risk of excessive bleeding. But there’s one major difference. Excessive bleeding linked to Coumadin can be stopped. If a patient begins to hemorrhage after being treated with Coumadin, the bleeding can be halted with relative ease by administering an antidote. Basically, the patient is injected with a combination of vitamin K and fresh blood plasma to reverse excessive bleeding. No such antidote exists for Xarelto.

The first Xarelto-related lawsuit was a wrongful death suit filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 2014. Since then, thousands more have joined, resulting in the formation of a Xarelto multidistrict litigation (MDL). Massachusetts Xarelto patients who have experienced uncontrolled bleeding after using the drug should contact a MA drug injury lawyer today.

Xarelto Patients Twice as Likely to Suffer from Stomach Bleeding

In response, Portola Pharmaceuticals has manufactured a possible antidote called AndexXa. However, the FDA has requested more information before it will allow AndexXa to be released to the public. It may be wise of the FDA to prevent AndexXa’s release until they are sure it is safe, but physicians and patients hope a safe option hits the shelves soon. Too many patients have been seriously injured, or have died, as a result of Xarelto use. In fact, studies show that patients taking Xarelto have double the risk of developing stomach bleeding as patients taking a different medication.

Potentially Life-Threatening Risks Linked Associated with Xarelto

Xarelto isn’t the only drug of its type linked to these serious health complications. Pradaxa and Eliquis, two newer drugs belonging to the same category, also have no antidote. Risks associated with Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis include: Continue reading

As people age, their joints and bones become weaker after years of wear and tear pile up and compound on one another. Eventually, in many cases, people may need some of the more utilized joints – hips primarily – to be resurfaced or totally replaced when traditional physical therapy can no longer help with pain and soreness.  Medical technology is incredibly advanced in this nation, however, the practice of metal-on-metal hip replacements – replacing hips joints with metallic alloy structures made from a combination of cobalt, nickel, chromium and titanium – is complicated and can lead to severe adverse side effects on one’s health.

The FDA stresses that all hip replacements come with implicit risks, however metal-on-metal hip replacements carry a unique risk – metallosis. Metallosis is essentially blood poisoning that occurs in patients when the metal ball and socket rub against one another through daily use, releasing microscopic bits of metal into the blood stream that can lead to serious medical issues for some patients.  An FDA study from 2012 showed that of all patients that underwent hip replacement surgery with metal-on-metal implants, between 85 and 92% had no need for revision surgery, even seven years after receiving the implants. This shows that most of the time, there isn’t a real problem with hip replacements. But as with anything else, there are always unfortunate cases where things do go wrong.

Signs of metallosis

  • General hypersensitivity that results in skin rashes
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart problems)
  • Sensory changes such as with vision or hearing
  • Depression or other unusual cognitive changes
  • Kidney complications
  • Thyroid issues such as a throbbing, painful neck, weight gain, fatigue or feeling cold constantly

Continue reading

Benicar is a prescription drug used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). When it first hit the markets in 2002, Benicar was touted as superior to other similar drugs for lack of side effects and effectiveness. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning that the drug may cause serious gastrointestinal problems, including chronic diarrhea, significant weight loss, and a condition known as sprue-like enteropathy.

Between 2002 – when Benicar entered the market – and 2008, manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo spent about $1 billion marketing the drug. According to the FDA, no other drugs in Benicar’s class are reported to cause similar side effects. Patients taking Benicar may develop villous atrophy, a condition that results in the inability to effectively absorb nutrients through the intestinal lining. If villous atrophy goes untreated, it can lead to severe malnutrition, dehydration, and chronic diarrhea.

Benicar Side Effects May Mimic Celiac Disease

Upon the release of the FDA’s warning in 2013, people began filing lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo for failure to warn about risks associated with Benicar. Since Benicar side effects can mimic other disorders, such as Celiac disease, misdiagnoses have led to further complications. In some patients, chronic diarrhea went undiagnosed for years.

Angiotensin Receptor Blockers

Benicar belongs to a family of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The other seven drugs in this family are:

  • Atacand
  • Avapro
  • Cozaar
  • Diovan
  • Micardis
  • Tevetan

ARBs work by blocking a naturally-occurring chemical called angiotensin II, which narrows blood vessels by causing the surrounding muscles to contract. By blocking this chemical, Benicar prevents the narrowing of blood vessels, thus making it easier for blood to pump through the vessels. Unfortunately, while Benicar is effective at lowering blood pressure, it also comes with a risk of painful, and potentially life-threatening side effects. If you are taking Benicar or a similar drug, it may be wise to discuss these risks with your doctor.

Benicar is the Third Most Widely Prescribed Hypertension Drug

Benicar remains quite popular. In 2012, an estimated 10.6 million people received prescriptions for Benicar or a related drug. In August of that year, the Mayo Clinic published a study highlighting an influx of cases involving symptoms that mimicked those related to Celiac disease. Among those studied, 100% suffered from chronic diarrhea, 100% experienced significant weight loss, nearly 70% suffered from nausea, half suffered from abdominal pain, and more than 40% experienced bloating. Continue reading

For decades, thousands of women used – and many continue to use – talcum powder as a feminine-hygiene product. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of those women may have developed ovarian cancer as a result. One of the deadliest forms of cancer, ovarian cancer is linked to the use of talc-based products, including Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.

The Risk of Ovarian Cancer Has Been Known for Decades

Talcum powder gets its name because it contains a mineral called talc. When these products are used in the genital area, talc particles can enter the vagina, and travel through the fallopian tubes into the ovaries. When talc particles embed in the ovaries, resulting irritation can cause inflammation, which can lead to the formation of cancerous cells. Most disturbing is the news that manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson may have known about this deadly risk since the 1970s.

Talcum Powder Increases Risk of Ovarian Cancer by 20 to 30 Percent

Researchers have known about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer since 1971. Studies conducted that year revealed that 75 percent of ovarian tumors studied contained talc particles. More recently, a 2013 study published in “Cancer Prevention Research” found that talcum powder use increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer by up to 30 percent. J&J’s failure to warn about these risks may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of women. When companies put profits before the health and safety of customers, they should be held accountable.

Signs of Ovarian Cancer

If you develop any of the following signs or symptoms, contact your physician immediately:

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, or nausea that won’t go away
  • Unexplained loss of appetite
  • A feeling of being “always full”
  • Pelvic and lower back pressure
  • Frequent urination
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Constant fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling

All of the above symptoms are related to multiple health conditions, some of them harmless. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true with ovarian cancer, which has been dubbed the “silent killer” because symptoms often go unnoticed until it’s too late.

Many lawsuits have been filed against J&J, and at least two cases have already been successful. In fact, the family of one deceased plaintiff was awarded $72 million in 2016 for the loss of their loved one to ovarian cancer. Another woman received $55 million this year, after she developed ovarian cancer from decades of baby powder use. Experts have reported that talcum powder use may be linked to an estimated 10,000 new ovarian cancer cases each year. New studies suggest that use of talc-based products may also be linked to mesothelioma, another highly-aggressive form of cancer. Continue reading

Talc, also known as talcum powder, is a naturally occurring mineral made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen that is highly stable, chemically inert and odorless.  Talcum powder is generally accepted as safe for cosmetic and personal use, as it is known to absorb moisture and prevent friction, thereby functioning to keep skin dry and prevent rashes.  Most people are aware of its presence in baby powder and adult body/facial powders.  When found naturally, talc can contain asbestos, a known carcinogen when inhaled.  However, all consumer talcum products have been required to be asbestos-free since the 1970s.  Still, there are concerns that there may be a link between talcum powder and cancer.  These concerns have focused on two main risk groups.  People who have long-term exposure to natural talc fibers at work, talc miners for example, may be at a higher risk for lung cancer as a result of inhaling talc fibers while on the job.  The other risk group is women who regularly apply talcum powder to the genital area, as they may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Although companies that manufacture talcum powder products, most notably Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, repeatedly claim their products are safe and non-cancer causing, some studies have surfaced that have highlighted the link between genital talcum powder use and ovarian cancer.  The first study linking the two was in 1971 published by several Welsh doctors in which talc particles were found in tumors of the cervix and ovaries.  After this initial study, numerous other studies were completed and published, many supporting the link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer.  Recently, a report released by Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention claimed a 44 percent increased risk for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer among African American women who applied talc to their genitals regularly.  Johnson & Johnson still holds that its baby powder is safe, although several claims against the company have resulted in multimillion-dollar awards by the company.

Of the dozens of studies involving talcum powder and cancer, many supporting the link between talcum powder and cancer, and many providing no evidence between the substance and cancer at all.  The studies that allege a relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer argue that by dusting female genitals or feminine products with talcum powder, talc particles can enter the vagina, travel in the uterus, and finally to the ovaries.  The products were targeted towards women, with manufacturers noting the appeal of a powder that could keep women comfortable and free of vaginal odors.  Johnson & Johnson, although has been the recipient of several claims regarding ovarian cancer and their body powder products, has claimed that the research linking talcum powder and cancer is inconclusive and has failed to place any sort of warning label on its products.  Since 2013, the drug manufacturer has spent over $5 billion to resolve various legal claims regarding Johnson & Johnson drugs and medical devices.  Julie Hennessy, a marketing professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, commented on the lawsuits saying, “Whether or not the science indicates that Baby Powder is a cause of ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson has a very significant breach of trust.”  Aside from the cancer risk, these products are made for babies.  If there is a potentially cancerous element to Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, parents should be made aware, shouldn’t they?  The only label that the product does have warns against inhalation, saying it is for external use only.  Although some lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have been successful and resulted in damages paid to the claimants, it may be some time before enough studies conclusively prove that there is a link between the talcum powder products and ovarian cancer. Continue reading

As with any anticoagulants (blood thinners) on the market today, Xarelto increases the risk of hemorrhaging, also known as excessive bleeding. However, patients on Xarelto have more than double the risk of stomach bleeding than those on another type of blood thinner. Furthermore, there is currently no antidote to reverse excessive bleeding in Xarelto patients. In response to the growing number of lawsuits against Xarelto manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals, some of the thousands of lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). Contact a Boston Drug Injury Lawyer Today.

A popular blood thinner, particularly among adults undergoing knee and hip replacement surgeries, Xarelto can treat everything from risk of blood clots and hypertension to irregular heart rhythm and other heart conditions. Touted as a low-maintenance alternative to Coumadin, Xarelto is now at the core of thousands of lawsuits alleging serious harm or death. The husband of a patient who died after receiving a blood transfusion to treat Xarelto-related bleeding sued Janssen claiming the company failed to warn physicians and patients about the risks.

Drug companies have a duty to test pharmaceuticals and obtain FDA approval before marketing those drugs to the public. Once that approval is in place, drug companies are required to warn physicians and patients of any known risks or side effects. Failure to properly design or test a drug, or failure to warn the public about associated risks and side effects can result in serious problems for the drug manufacturer.

More than 6,000 Lawsuits Filed Against Xarelto Manufacturer

According to the report released by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, a total of 6,457 lawsuits are currently pending against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Of those cases, 40 have been consolidated into one case in Louisiana federal court. These cases, scheduled to begin in early 2017, will be tried as bellwether cases, setting the tone for upcoming Xarelto lawsuits.

Common Side Effects Associated with Xarelto

Side effects can range from mild to severe. If you develop any of these symptoms or side effects while taking Xarelto, it’s in your best interest to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bloody stool
  • Bowel problems
  • Bladder problems
  • Back pain
  • “Pins and needles” or tingling feelings
  • Excessive itching

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Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are often prescribed as treatment for acid-related conditions because of their ability to block the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that makes acid, thereby decreasing the production of acid in the body.  Examples of some protein pump inhibitors that are often prescribed are omeprazole (Prilosec and Losec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), esomeprazole (Nexium), and a rapid release form of omeprazole (Zegarid).  These medications are used for the prevention and treatment of conditions such as duodenal stomach ulcers, NSAID-associated ulcer, ulcers, heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.  In 2013, over 15 million Americans were using these proton pump inhibitors.

There are some common side effects associated with various types of protein pump inhibitors.  Most often, these include headache, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea, and rash.  Still, these medications are typically considered to be well tolerated by patients.  Additionally, the risk of Clostridium difficile infection may increase while taking PPIs, and long-term use may increase the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine.  More serious adverse side effects have recently been discovered.  There may be a connection between proton pump inhibitors and long-term kidney damage, a new study published in January shows.  JAMA Internal Medicine published findings that individuals who take proton pump inhibitors have a 20 percent to 50 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease when compared with individuals who don’t take the drugs.  Although the study does not solidify a causal relationship between PPIs and kidney disease, Dr. Morgan Grams, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University and lead author of the study, said, “We found there was an increasing risk associated with an increasing dose. That suggests that perhaps this observed effect is real.”  Continue reading

We are fortunate to live in a time when medical technology and pharmaceuticals can save us from injuries and illnesses that would have killed us a half century ago. Medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were death sentences in the not-so-distant past. Today, with prescription drugs, and certain diet and lifestyle changes, patients with these conditions can live long, healthy lives. Unfortunately, prescription drugs can also be harmful, even fatal.

Most medications have side effects, and some of these side effects can be especially dangerous. When pharmaceutical companies fail to warn about side effects, or neglect to perform proper testing on drugs before marketing them for certain uses, it can result in injury and death. Contact a Boston Drug Injury Lawyer Today.

Top 5 Dangerous Drugs

Most prescription drugs can be dangerous if used incorrectly. However, some drugs are associated with a significantly higher risk of injury and death. Below are the top 5 drugs currently involved in litigation for their link to deadly side effects.

  1. Invokamet: Designed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, Invokamet is linked to multiple serious side effects. The drug is successful at managing insulin levels in patients by regulating the levels of glucose released by the liver. However, Invokament use can also cause urinary tract infections, nausea and vomiting, as well as an increased risk of bone fractures.
  1. Onglyza: Also prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes, Onglyza is linked to even more serious side effects than Invokamet. In fact, the FDA has recently released a warning that medicines like Onglyza “may increase the risk of heart failure, particularly in patients who already have heart or kidney disease.”
  1. Risperdal: In patients with bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism, Risperdal may reduce aggressive behaviors. Unfortunately, it is also linked to gynecomastia, a condition that results in breast enlargement in male patients. Lawsuits allege that Risperdal manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, failed to warn patients and physicians about the risk of gynecomastia. Furthermore, the drug wasn’t even approved for use in adolescents, the group most affected by side effects. As a result, Johnson & Johnson recently paid $70M in penalties, fines, and victim compensation.
  1. Xarelto: Anticoagulants (blood thinners) have been used for decades to prevent blood clots and strokes in at-risk patients. For a long time, Coumadin was the main option for treatment. Although successful, Coumadin requires constant monitoring, a major inconvenience for patients. Recently, however, a new category of anticoagulants entered the market. Xarelto is included in this new category. This lower-maintenance alternative requires little to no monitoring but, unfortunately, is linked to life-threatening medical conditions. Although hemorrhaging is a risk with all anticoagulants, Coumadin has a reversal agent that stops excessive bleeding in its tracks. Unfortunately, the same is not true for Xarelto and similar drugs.
  1. Zofran: Designed to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients, Zofran’s manufacturer began marketing Zofran to pregnant women as a treatment for morning sickness. Unfortunately, the drug had never been tested on pregnant humans, and its use is now linked to severe birth defects.

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