After undergoing double bypass surgery, your doctor prescribed a blood thinner called Xarelto to help prevent blood clotting and lessen the chance of a stroke. Having just survived a terrifying surgery, your confidence in your doctor’s decisions was extremely high. However, once you got home and started taking the meds, you began to feel a little “off.”
You became extremely tired, dizzy, and weak. Although you first attributed these effects to the fact that you just had open heart surgery, you began to get worried when you started coughing up blood. Is this normal after surgery, or is it a sign that something is wrong? How will you know if the medication is causing adverse side effects? When should you seek medical attention to be sure?
Xarelto Bleeding Symptoms
Throughout 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitored the blood thinner known as Xarelto, as a result of several accusations relating to its safety. Studies concurred that under certain circumstances, Xarelto could cause excessive bleeding which—if not controlled—could be fatal. In response to these dangers, the FDA issued letters to Xarelto’s manufacturer (Janssen Research and Development, LLC.), encouraging new labels and side effect warnings.
Paul Burton, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Clinical Development of Janssen Research & Development, replied to the FDA’s letter by stating that:
“We remain committed to providing patients who have suffered from acute coronary syndrome with additional protection against stent thrombosis and secondary life-threatening cardiovascular events. We are evaluating the contents of the letters and will determine the appropriate next steps.”
In the meantime, while Janssen “evaluates the letters” and decides how to best represent their product along with your safety, you should stay aware of any potential side effects of the drug. Seek medical attention immediately if you feel that there may be a problem, and call your doctor if you witness or develop any of the following specific symptoms of bleeding:
- Unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time
- Excessive nosebleeds
- Unusual bleeding of the gums
- Menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal, or vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding that is severe or that you cannot control
- Red, pink, or brown urine
- Bright red or black stools (looks like tar)
- Coughing up blood or blood clots
- Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like “coffee grounds”
- Constant headaches
- Loss of strength
- Blurred vision
- Bloodshot eyes
- Excessive bruising
- Color changes in skin (pale or bright red)
- Numbness in your extremities
- Pain, swelling, or new drainage at wound sites
Protecting Your Loved Ones
Although blood thinners are great for preventing blood clots and potential strokes after surgery, the mere fact that they stop your blood from clotting can put you at risk for bleeding out. To decrease your risks, make sure you speak to your doctor about any side effects and drug interactions, and what to do if you experience bleeding symptoms.
You can also help your friends and family get the information they need by sharing this article on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Your loved ones may not be aware of the potential danger their Xarelto prescriptions may put them in. Use your social media to raise awareness, and possibly help save a life.
For more information about Xarelto and other dangerous drugs, like us on Facebook. We periodically discuss FDA warnings and can also help you decide whether filing a legal claim against a drug manufacturer is right for you.