Your mother recently had a double bypass surgery in order to clean out her semi-blocked arteries. Thankfully, she came through without any apparent complications. However, her doctor prescribed her an anticoagulant called Xarelto to help ensure that blood clots won’t form in the newly cleared vessels, while also encouraging blood flow.
Although your mother trusts her doctor implicitly, and never questions his prescriptions, you aren’t as trustworthy. As soon as you heard the name Xarelto, you were Googling articles, comparing it to other drugs, and investigating its safety record. What you found made your heart skip a beat—there are apparently several lawsuits against Xarelto for causing serious side effects, including death!
Should you be concerned that your mother is taking it? What are the potential risks?
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is an anticoagulant that is used to help break up blood clots to help prevent pulmonary embolisms (lung blood clots) and strokes. It is generally prescribed after invasive surgery (especially heart surgery) to break up potential clots as well as prevent new ones from forming. It is also prescribed to help lower the risk of stroke caused by blood clots in those that suffer an irregular heartbeat.
Although this medication is extremely effective in thinning out the blood and preventing clots, its effectiveness is also dangerous. It has been alleged that the company that made Xarelto, Bayer Healthcare, and the company that marketed Xarelto, the Johnson and Johnson Jansen subsidiary, failed to provide adequate warnings to doctors and patients about the potential side effects. The allegation suggests that the warnings didn’t sufficiently dictate the specific bleeding risks associated with the drug, nor did it mention that there was no antidote or way to stop the medication’s effects.
As a result of these allegations, as well as several class action lawsuits, the Food and Drug Administration required safety labeling changes to be made to Xarelto packaging in order to include proper warnings. These changes included warnings for the following risks:
- Bleeding risks. Since Xarelto is an anticoagulant blood thinner, the risk for excessive bleeding is high, both internally and externally. For example, if an internal stitch breaks after surgery, you could suffer massive internal bleeding because the medication will prevent the open stitch from clotting. If the opening doesn’t clot, there is nothing to prevent the blood flow from escaping your arteries. This risk is increased for patients who require catheterization, as the removal and replacement of the catheters could cause bruising and bleeding.
- Lack of antidote. There is currently no antidote or combatant to the drug that will stop it from preventing clots. Therefore, if you do suffer excessive bleeding, there isn’t a way to stop the anticoagulation.
- Potential drug interaction risks. Since Xarelto changes your blood flow, combining it with certain medications, especially time-released medications can become problematic.
- Prosthetic heart valve risks. The safety and efficiency of Xarelto have not been studied in patients with prosthetic heart valves. Therefore, use of Xarelto is not recommended if you have a prosthetic heart valve.
Joining the Suit for Risk Compensation
If you or a loved one suffered any of the above complications due to insufficient warnings, you may be entitled to join the lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare and Johnson and Johnson. Contact us today for a free consultation and more information about your injury claim and rights.
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