Xarelto: More Harm than Good? Do You Have Grounds for a Lawsuit?

Xarelto, otherwise known as rivaroxaban, is a prescribed blood thinner manufactured by Bayer and marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Xarelto was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 for treatment of deep vein thrombosis as well as pulmonary embolism. There is a mounting sum of evidence that claims, however, that Xarelto was not generally approved as a blood thinner. The approval for Xarelto was revised in 2012 to cover patients with reoccurring blood clots—but the decision came against the approval of the FDA’s own panel.

Xarelto has also not been approved by the FDA as being superior to the primary competitor of blood thinners, a drug by the name of warfarin. Warfarin was the leading anticoagulant on the market; but due to the fact that warfarin patients are required to participate in regular checkups and adjust their diet and lifestyle, competing drug companies proposed the idea of Xarelto as a more “convenient” substitute. And while warfarin has its own fair share of side effects, including brain hemorrhages, it is still considered to be the safer blood thinner option, especially considering the fact that warfarin has an antidote but Xarelto does not. Warfarin is also significantly cheaper than Xarelto by a wide margin of about $2,800 a year.

Patients who were prescribed Xarelto may experience severe and excessive forms of bleeding—whether it is abdominal, internal, vaginal, or otherwise, the bleeding could lead to death if left unchecked by a physician. Because Xarelto does not have an antidote and cannot be removed from the blood via dialysis, those who suffer excessive bleeding will need to be hospitalized immediately. Those patients are also at a higher risk of fatality due to the fact that there are not as many options in terms of counteracting the drug within their system.

Xarelto can also be used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots. But many patients who are taking Xarelto have actually developed forms of blood clots as a side effect. Patients who have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery while on Xarelto have developed serious blood clots—which could trigger a stroke or lead to possible heart attack if the blood clots were to travel to the brain. Patients are recommended to speak with their doctor about upcoming surgeries and dental procedures, as they will need to be taken off of Xarelto for a short period of time prior to their scheduled procedures.

The overall view of the situation seems to be that patients who are prescribed Xarelto, whether it is to prevent blood clots, stroke, or for treatment, tend to suffer far worse side effects than what they may have been experiencing originally. Furthermore, Xarelto poses significant threat to patients who take the drug with other prescriptions because there are a number of other drugs that Xarelto cannot cross with due to extremely serious side effects.

A number of lawsuits are being filed against Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals in order to gain some form of compensation for patients and loved ones of patients who were taking Xarelto. Compensation for a matter such as this can range from help with medical costs and injuries (both physical and emotional) to help with payment of funeral costs for those whose side effects proved to be fatal. People may file lawsuits to gain some sense of justice and closure for their loved ones who have passed due to the issues that Xarelto had caused them. The basis of a claim against the makers and manufactures of Xarelto are deeply rooted in the fact that they did not actively declare the safety or effectiveness of the drug before they put it on the market. Patients and doctors alike are given an imperfect image of what the drug does for you and what it can do to your body.

While there are no confirmed reports of Bayer or Johnson & Johnson reaching settlements for Xarelto related claims, an abundance of lawsuits have been filed since early 2014. It could potentially take up to several years for a settlement negotiation to take place. But it is imperative to remember that those at fault should be held accountable. There are a few key factors that a jury may consider in a Xarelto related case, as they seem to be the common threads linking each situation. These factors may include: the extent and length of the injury and the effect that this injury had on the patient, the pain (both mental and physical) the patient suffered due to the injury, the medical expenses that accumulated while injured, and in wrongful death cases a jury will take into consideration the loss suffered by the surviving members of the family.

Speaking to a lawyer about your situation is the best way to find out if you qualify for a settlement in relation to Xarelto and the effects it may have had. Our Boston Xarelto injury lawyers are available for a free consultation. 617-492-3000.



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