Xarelto claims to be the number one prescribed novel oral anticoagulant in the United States. It’s a blood thinner that is supposed to reduce your risk of blood clots.
Unfortunately, over the past few months, a number of former Xarelto users have filed lawsuits against the company due to uncontrolled bleeding problems. These former users want the drug to be removed from the market.
Find out everything you need to know about this controversial blood thinner today in our Xarelto review.
What is Xarelto?
Xarelto is a relatively new anticoagulant – also known as a blood thinner.
The drug was developed by Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals – which is a division of Johnson & Johnson.
Xarelto claims to help prevent dangerous blood clots that would otherwise restrict flow to vital organs.
Most blood thinners require a customized dosage from a physician. Xarelto, however, works as a single uniform dose.
After Xarelto launched, the FDA approved the drug to treat several different conditions. It prescribed it for patients who recently underwent knee or hip replacement surgery, for example, where it reduced the risk of blood clots. The FDA later approved the drug for general treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Xarelto Side Effects
The most severe Xarelto side effect is uncontrolled bleeding. When bleeding occurs next to a major organ, blood flow to the organ is interrupted or ceased. This can cause immediate and severe health problems when that organ is the brain, lungs, or kidneys.
Since Xarelto is an effective blood thinner, it prevents the blood from clotting. This can cause pools of blood to continuously form within the body until the drug has been flushed from the system.
All anticoagulants have a risk of internal bleeding. After all, the medications are specifically designed to thin the blood, and they do a good job of that. However, most older anticoagulants – like Warfarin – also come with an emergency antidote: if the patient is bleeding and cannot stop, doctors can apply that antidote to counteract the effects of the drug.
Xarelto doesn’t have an antidote. The drug cannot even be flushed out of the system through dialysis. When bleeding starts while taking Xarelto, the patient can become hospitalized and eventually die.
Ultimately, this has led to serious Xarelto side effects like abdominal bleeding, abnormal liver functionality, brain hemorrhage, and reduced platelet levels.
In some drugs, side effects only affect a small percentage of users. In Xarelto, however, side effects have proven to be particularly common.
In a Phase III study intended to examine Xarelto’s safety, 73% of the 16,041 participants who took at least one dose of Xarelto experienced side effects. Some of the more serious effects included anemia and bleeding events.
Those who took higher doses of Xarelto were more likely to suffer serious side effects like bleeding. Other common side effects from the study include:
— Rapid Heartbeat
— Rectal Bleeding
— Low Blood Pressure
— Muscle Pain
— Nose Bleeds
— Eye Hemorrhaging
— Gastrointestinal And Urogenital Bleeding
Once again, 73% of the 16,000+ people who took Xarelto experienced at least one of the above side effects. You can view the full results of the study here.
Xarelto Drug Interactions
In addition to all the side effects listed above, Xarelto can have potentially deadly reactions with various drugs. The risk of spinal clotting is increased for people who take NSAIDS like aspirin and ibuprofen, for example.
Here are just a few of the other drugs which may adversely react to Xarelto:
— Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol-XR, Teril, Epitol)
— Indinavir (Crixivan)
— Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox)
— Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
— Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
— Phenobarbital (Solfoton)
— Phenytoin (Dilantin-125, Dilantin)
— Rifampin (Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane, Rifadin)
— Ritonavir (Norvir)
— St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Xarelto Lawsuits and Compensation
Over the past few months, more and more Xarelto users have filed compensation claims against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.
Many of these users allege that Xarelto failed to warn the public of dangers associated with the drug – including irreversible bleeding.
Xarelto users were often rushed to the hospital after experiencing severe bleeding, for example, without knowing why the bleeding was occurring.
Plaintiffs are also arguing that Bayer and Johnson & Johnson continued to sell Xarelto even though they knew it was dangerous.
Xarelto isn’t actually the first anticoagulant to become the subject of huge lawsuits. Xarelto’s predecessor, Pradaxa, eventually led to a $650 million settlement spread across 4,000 claims.
If you’ve experienced uncontrolled bleeding while – or after – taking Xarelto, then you may be eligible for compensation. Speak with an attorney to understand your rights and determine how much compensation you could receive.
Who Should Use Xarelto?
Xarelto is currently the subject of lawsuits across the United States. It continues to be sold despite its apparent risks.
Only take Xarelto at the direct instruction of your doctor. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk for uncontrollable internal or external bleeding.
If you or someone you love has experienced any type of uncontrolled bleeding while taking Xarelto, then you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an attorney to learn how to begin seeking compensation for lost income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.