You have been in the hospital for over a week after undergoing a liver transplant. Today, you finally get to go home. Before you are able to leave you must have a final discussion with your doctor about home care, medications, and possible side effects to watch out for. One of the main concerns you have is the fact that you are being prescribed a blood thinner called Xarelto to help prevent any unforeseen blood clotting. Although you appreciate the concern—and you definitely want to avoid blood clots—you’ve heard bad things about Xarelto.
Should you be worried about the potential risks? What types of things should you speak to him about before taking it?
Better Safe Than Sorry: Information to Speak to Your Doctor About Before Taking Xarelto
Although Xarelto is an effective blood thinner, the problem that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has is that there is no antidote for excessive bleeding. This failure to be able to counteract the drug’s purpose has put patients at risk for excessive bleeding and even death. This is why it is important for not only doctors to know the risks, but for you to know them as well. In addition to just knowing the potential side effects, it is also imperative to know what to discuss with your doctor in order to protect yourself from possible harm.
Before taking Xarelto, make sure that you and your doctor discuss the following subjects, risks, history, and precautions:
- Your history of bleeding problems.
- Whether you have ever had liver or kidney problems.
- Any other medical conditions you may have.
- Whether you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It isn’t known if Xarelto will affect your pregnancy, but your doctor should know if you are or become pregnant while taking it in order to take necessary precautions.
- Your risk for cuts, lacerations, or bruising. Highly active jobs or working with sharp objects can increase your risk of getting cut and bleeding profusely.
- Whether you’re planning on having surgery or dental procedures while taking Xarelto. Invasive procedures could increase risk of blood loss wile on Xarelto.
- Types of medications you’re currently taking. Certain medical cocktails—combinations of drugs—can cause worsening drug effects.
Dangerous Xarelto Cocktails
Before starting any new medication, you should always tell your doctor about all the medicines you currently take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. This is especially true when starting a blood thinner like Xarelto, as some of your other medicines may counteract or affect Xarelto’s efficiency. In some cases, the combination of Xarelto and other medications, may actually drastically increase your bleeding risks. This is why it is imperative to be as forthcoming as possible with your doctor before you begin taking the prescribed blood thinner. Dangerous medications—when combined with Xarelto—include:
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral®)
- Itraconazole (Onmel™, Sporanox®)
- Ritonavir (Norvir®)
- Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra®)
- Indinavir (Crixivan®)
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, Tegretol®-XR, Teril™, Epitol®)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin-125®, Dilantin®)
- Phenobarbital (Solfoton™)
- Rifampin (Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®, Rifadin®)
- St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Weighing in on Xarelto Risks
Given the potential risks involved, do you think new warning labels are enough protection against bleeding side effects? Do the potential benefits of preventing a stroke outweigh the risks of internal bleeding? Do you think the FDA should investigate the drug further? Let us know your thoughts by leaving your opinions and questions in the comments section.
If you have personal experience with the adverse effects of Xarelto, please let us and our clients know. Not only may we be able to help you get the justice you deserve, but you can help fellow victims get the confidence they need to fight back as well.
Wary about sharing your experiences publicly?—no problem. We want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible when deciding your future. Contact us directly for a free consultation and review of your case.