According to the findings of a 2017 University of Ottawa study, long-term use of Xarelto works better than aspirin for preventing the recurrence of potentially life-threatening blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms (VTE) in patients who have an elevated risk of these clots.
While more trials are needed, the study could dramatically change the standard treatment for patients with VTE, and no doubt comes as welcome news to Xarelto's manufacturers, Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which are currently embroiled in more than 4,500 lawsuits related to uncontrollable bleeding events associated with the drug.
Standard VTE Treatment
More than 900,000 Americans suffer from painful and potentially deadly VTE blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs), and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) each year. Once diagnosed with VTE, the patient's risk for developing a similar clot in the future increases exponentially. To prevent a recurrence of these dangerous blood clots, conventional wisdom calls for the patient to be given an anticoagulant drug—such as Xarelto—for 90 days or more.
At the end of the Xarelto therapy, patients are often given low-dose aspirin for the long-term prevention of clots. Although many patients have had success with this approach, the University of Ottawa study suggests there may be a better way.
Longer-Term Xarelto Use for VTE
Named “Einstein Choice” and presented at the American College of Cardiology by Dr. Philip Wells, the chief of the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, the study followed nearly 3,400 patients who had completed between 6 and 12 months of anticoagulant therapy after suffering a VTE.
As part of the study, these patients were given a daily dose of either Xarelto or low-dose aspirin, and followed for another year. At the end of the study, researchers examined the health outcomes for both groups and found a statistically significant reduction in VTE recurrence among patients who continued taking Xarelto. The rate of VTE recurrence was less than 2 percent for patients taking Xarelto (1.2 percent for patients taking 10 mg daily and 1.5 percent for patients taking 20 mg), while the rate of recurrence for patients taking aspirin was more than twice as high at 4.4 percent.
Also, the study's Xarelto patients saw no increase in major bleeding—a serious and potentially deadly Xarelto complication.
Xarelto Bleeding Lawsuits
While some patients have success with Xarelto, the drug isn't for everyone, and is linked to some concerning side effects and complications, the most serious of which is uncontrollable internal bleeding that can lead to hospitalization and even death. As of April 2017, more than 4,500 patients have filed dangerous drug lawsuits against Xarelto's manufacturers, alleging that the companies knowingly marketed a poorly tested and faulty product, and failed to warn doctors or consumers of the bleeding risks associated with its use.
Consolidated into a multidistrict legislation in Louisiana, the Xarelto lawsuits are currently being heard individually by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.
Did You Experience Serious Xarelto Side Effects?
Although Xarelto's been proven effective at preventing blood clots and a recurrence of VTE, it can also cause life-threatening and even deadly internal bleeding episodes in some patients. If you experienced uncontrollable bleeding while taking Xarelto, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for damages from the drug's manufacturer for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Let McGartland Law's board-certified and award-winning personal injury attorney, Mike McGartland, help you fight for the financial recovery you need and deserve. Contact our law office today to make an appointment for a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss the details of your case. We accept cases from across the county.