Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) was approved by the FDA in 2011 to prevent blood clotting in patients who were recovering from knee and hip replacement surgeries. Blood clots are a common risk in post-surgical patients, and blood thinners can reduce the risks of pulmonary embolisms and strokes due to clotting. However, the blood thinners themselves also carry risks.
Xarelto Increases Risk of Irreversible Bleeding and Other Life-Threatening Side Effects
The most worrying side effect of most anticoagulants is excessive bleeding, since the blood has been prevented from clotting. Most older blood thinners have ways to reverse the bleeding before it endangers the patient (such as administering Vitamin K to reverse the effect of warfarin). Xarelto has no known antidote for excessive bleeding, causing some patients taking the drug to suffer complications resulting from blood loss or even fatal bleeding.
Reported side effects of Xarelto include:
- Hemorrhaging. Xarelto can cause uncontrolled bleeding throughout the body, including bleeding in the gums, from the rectum, frequent or long-lasting nose bleeds, intestinal or abdominal bleeds, pink or brown urine, black or bloody stools, vaginal bleeding or increased menstrual bleeding, coughing up blood, and blood pooling within the tissues of the body (hematoma).
- Brain bleeds. Bleeding within the brain, also called cerebral hemorrhage, can be fatal if not corrected quickly. Patients who experience headaches or feel dizzy while taking Xarelto should seek medical attention immediately to rule out potential bleeds.
- Edema. Patients have suffered severe water retention and swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs known as peripheral edema. Swelling in the tissues of the body has also been known to place pressure on the heart and lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- Changes in the blood. Not only can Xarelto cause bleeding, it can affect the quality of a patient’s blood output. Some patients have suffered decreased hemoglobin production and reduced platelet levels, affecting blood clotting risks.
- Infections. Recent studies have shown that patients taking Xarelto after knee and hip replacements are at greater risk of healing complications. A study of over 10,000 patients discovered that Xarelto carried four times the risk of wound complications, most notably deep-tissue infections and leakage, which often required additional surgeries.
- Paralysis. Patients who undergo spinal injections or epidurals while taking Xarelto are at increased risk of developing a blood clot in the spine, which can lead to paralysis. Spinal clotting risks are also present for some surgical patients, especially those who regularly take NSAIDs for pain.
Although Xarelto has been linked to serious side effects, patients should always consult their doctor before discontinuing the medication. A sudden stop or decrease in the drug can cause a blood clot that could injure the patient, so it is best to discuss ways to wean off of Xarelto with a medical professional.
Help for Patients and Families Injured by Xarelto
Drugmakers Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have made billions of dollars from sales of Xarelto, which continues to be one of their highest-grossing medications. However, the number of lawsuits filed against Bayer is increasing every month, many of which are requesting that the drug be removed from the market. The most common allegation against the drug’s manufacturers is that they were aware of the risks of bleeding but failed to warn the public, opting instead to hide potentially harmful clinical data. Some plaintiffs have even claimed that the drug companies identified bleeding problems in early clinical trial testing, but failed to follow these tests with more comprehensive trials before releasing the drug onto the market.
The McGartland Law Firm is asking patients and families who suffered as a result of taking Xarelto to come forward and join the lawsuit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. We believe that these drug manufacturers should be held responsible for causing countless injuries and deaths in the name of profit, and we will fight aggressively on your behalf to get you what you are owed. We have recovered multi-million dollar settlements for our clients, and we do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case. Call the number on this page today to speak to a member of our legal team.