Medications may save a patient’s life, but they all carry specific dangers and risks—including the potential to interact with other drugs. The popular blood thinning medication Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) is no different, and as a result, life-threatening side effects such as paralysis and death may occur.
Drugs That Increase Bleeding Risk When Taking Xarelto
Xarelto, like most anti-coagulants, has an increased risk of bleeding. However, the bleeding caused by Xarelto cannot be reversed like most other FDA-approved blood thinners, so it's vital that patients prevent bleeding before it starts.
Patients are at an increased risk of bleeding if Xarelto is combined with:
- Aspirin or products that contain aspirin
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, indomethacin, and naproxen
- Coumadin®, Jantoven®, or other warfarin medications
- Any drugs that contain heparin
- Any other blood thinning medications
- Plavix® clopidogrel)
- Eliquis® (Apixaban)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), common classes of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications
- Any other medicines prescribed to prevent clotting or breakup blood clots
Other Drugs That Interact with Xarelto
Some medications may not cause fatal side effects, but can still be unpleasant or lead to excessive pain and discomfort. Patients taking Xarelto have reported various effects when also using:
- Antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac) or erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
- Anti-fungals such as ketoconazole (Nizoral®), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox®) and fluconazole (Diflucan)
- HIV medications such as ritonavir (Norvir®), indinavir (Crixivan®), and lopinavir (Kaletra®)
- Anti-seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, Tegretol®-XR, TerilTM, Epitol®), phenytoin (Dilantin-125®, Dilantin®), and phenobarbital (SolfotonTM)
- Rifampin medications such as Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®, and Rifadin®
- Heart medications such as tirofiban (Aggrastat), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) or amiodarone (Cordarone)
- St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Patients should always provide their doctors with a complete list of the drugs they take, including herbal treatments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and even recreational drugs. If you're not sure which medications you're taking, ask your doctor to help you compile a list of name brands, generic versions, and dosages. Keep this list with you when you see specialists, go to the pharmacy, or undergo any medical treatment.
Xarelto Poses a Risk of Spinal or Epidural Blood Clots
In addition to the risks of combining medications, patients who undergo procedures that involve spinal injections are particularly likely to suffer permanent injury. Anticoagulant medications can have adverse effects on patients who have a spinal puncture or have drugs injected directly into their spines, such as women who have epidurals during labor. These patients may suffer blood clots that cause long-lasting or irreversible paralysis in the legs or throughout the entire body.
Patients taking Xarelto are at significant risk of developing a spinal or epidural blood clot if:
- A doctor has inserted an epidural catheter (a thin tube left in the back to deliver medicine to the spine).
- They have had many epidurals.
- They have had spinal punctures in the past.
- They have undergone spinal surgery or other back procedures.
- They have a history of back problems.
- They are taking NSAIDs or other medications that can prevent clotting.
Patients taking Xarelto should discuss any procedures that involve spinal injections with their prescribing physicians before undergoing surgery. Your specialist should be made aware of your risk of clotting, and monitor you closely for symptoms of spinal blood clots. You should tell your surgeon or nurses right away if you experience back pain, numbness, a “pins and needles” sensation in your fingers and toes, muscle weakness in your legs, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
Let Us Help
If you or someone you love suffered significant blood loss or death as a result of taking Xarelto, the McGartland Law Firm can help. We fight aggressively for clients injured by dangerous drugs, and we don't collect any legal fees unless we win your case. Contact us through our online contact form, or call the number on this page to have us start an investigation into your claim.