Almost 20% of all Americans have been treated with a blood thinner in the past year. There are numerous options available via a prescription on the market today, the most popular of which is Xarelto. However, this drug comes with some serious side effects and risks which are now being addressed in the thousands of defective drug lawsuits filed against the manufacturer.
There are two kinds of blood thinners:
Both types work to reduce the chance that a blood clot will form inside of the body. Xarelto is what is known as a Xa Inhibitor. It reduces the amount of Factor Xa thrombin levels which are used during the formation of a clot.
While there are many other drugs that doctors can recommend to a patient, Xarelto, which was released into the market in 2011, quickly became a medical community and patient favorite for several reasons which were highly advertised by the manufacturers, Bayer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Prior to Xarelto, patients taking older blood thinners such as Warfarin had to return to their doctor’s office for blood work, sometimes as frequently as once a week. This is because the patient’s, diet, exercise level, age, weight, and other medications could impact the blood thinner and change the way that the drug works. The blood work monitoring is needed in order to determine that the correct dosage is being used.
Xarelto, unlike the older blood thinners, is a uniform dose is prescribed for every patient regardless of their diet, sex, age, or weight. This means that bloodwork is rarely needed – a money and time saver for patients. But what most patients weren’t aware of in the beginning is that the drug comes with serious risks.
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Reports from physicians have indicated that patients on Xarelto have experienced:
GI bleeds have occurred in the stomach, colon, rectum, intestines, and even the esophagus. Patients have reported that they vomited or coughed up blood. If the patient doesn’t seek medical attention, the pooling blood can isolate a major organ and result in death.
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot causes a blockage in one of the veins supplying the lungs with blood. If a dose of Xarelto is missed or if the drug is discontinued too quickly, the body may react poorly and blood clots may form.
A brain bleed or clot can cause paralysis, numbness, slurred speech, memory loss, or even death.
If the patient is in an accident and suffers spinal damage or has to undergo a medical procedure, the blood in the spinal column may not have the ability to form a healthy natural clot and blood may pool in the spinal column causing paralysis.
Health reports have indicated that Xarelto may lead to hepatitis.
In addition to these potential side effects, the FDA has reported that there is no antidote for the drug, which means that doctors are unable to reverse the drug’s effects if life-threatening bleeding occurs. Instead, in order to save a patient’s life, they must perform a blood transfusion, but even this drastic action is not always successful. In fact, hundreds of the lawsuits filed are wrongful death lawsuits.
The first Xarelto lawsuit was filed in 2014, and since then, thousands of plaintiffs have joined the fight, each one alleging that the blood thinner caused serious harm. So many complaints have been filed that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation determined that it was appropriate to form MDL 2592, moving all federally-filed cases to a court in the Eastern District for Louisiana. This consolidation is supposed to make the litigation process go faster and save all parties involved both time and money.
If you believe that you or a loved one were harmed because you took the drug Xarelto, the best way to determine if you have a case is to consult with an experienced personal injury and defective product attorney.
In order to determine if you have a case and how much you might be able to obtain in coverage, the following documents may be necessary:
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