Xarelto is a type of anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication that quickly grew in popularity following its release in 2011. For decades, warfarin had been the only reliable treatment for patients with blood-clotting disorders, such as atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis. Although effective, warfarin requires regular blood monitoring. Xarelto, on the other hand, does not. Unfortunately, in an effort to fulfill the skyrocketing prescription orders for this new, low-maintenance drug, adequate safety testing may have been “overlooked.”
All anticoagulants carry a risk of excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging, but warfarin has an antidote. If excessive bleeding occurs while undergoing treatment with warfarin, the physician can administer a dose of vitamin K and fresh blood plasma, and the bleeding will stop. Unfortunately, no such antidote exists for Xarelto users. A MA drug injury lawyer can help if you’ve suffered medical complications after taking Xarelto.
Manufactured by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, Xarelto has thousands of reported complications and adverse event reports with the FDA. Despite these risks, Xarelto sales continue to rise. It has even surpassed sales of other drugs in its class, including Eliquis and Pradaxa, both of which are also linked to excessive bleeding.
How Does Xarelto Work?
Xarelto and other drugs in its class work by blocking a blood protein called Factor Xa, which is responsible for initiating the blood’s clotting process. By blocking Xa, a clotting enzyme called thrombin is not produced, and clots do not form. It can take up to 24 hours for Xarelto to be eliminated from a person’s system. For older adults, it may take even longer and the anticoagulation effects may last longer.
Complications Linked to Xarelto
The use of Xarelto and similar drugs carries the risk of excessive bleeding, but this is not the only complication. Additional medical conditions associated with this drug include:
- Tingling sensation in muscles
- Arm or leg pain
- Muscle pain
- Liver problems
- Wound bleeding that does not stop
- Sinus irritation
- As of November 2016, there were 13,700 reported lawsuits pending in Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) against Xarelto manufacturers.
- According to the American Medical Association, patients undergoing treatment with Xarelto have a higher rate of death than those using Pradaxa.
- The Institute for Safe Medication Practices named Xarelto the nation’s most dangerous drug in 2016.
- In 2015, more than 10,000 Xarelto-related complications were reported to the FDA.
Our Lawyers can help if you have been harmed by taking Xarelto or a similar drug, such as Pradaxa or Eliquis. If you are undergoing Xarelto treatment and are concerned about the risks, it may be wise to speak with your health care provider. If you develop any of the following symptoms while on Xarelto, seek immediate medical attention:
- Bleeding gums
- Red or brown urine
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Black stool
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Coughing up blood clots
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling weak or fatigued
- Severe headaches
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds or contains blood