Xarelto is the trade name given to the drug rivaroxaban. Bayer AG first manufactured the medication and then sold U.S. distribution rights to Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Marketers touted Xarelto as a more convenient alternative to Warfarin, an anticoagulant that was first introduced in the mid-1950s. Whereas Warfarin users need to be monitored by a doctor regularly, users of Xarelto® and other “new generation” blood thinners such as Pradaxa don’t need to be checked nearly as often.
The U.S. FDA first approved Xarelto in 2011 for use in patients who had recently undergone knee and hip replacement surgeries as they are at a heightened risk for developing potentially fatal blood clots. Later that year, the FDA approved the drug for use in atrial fibrillation patients. Atrial fibrillation is a condition where blood pools in the upper chambers of the heart. If a clot forms and is transported to the brain, a possibly fatal stroke can result.
What’s the problem with Xarelto?
Unfortunately, Xarelto and other new generation anticoagulants can cause severe bleeding in patients. While this is also the case with Warfarin, the difference is that there is no antidote for the type of bleeding caused by newer blood thinners. If this problem occurs in a patient using Warfarin, doctors can use high dosages of Vitamin K to stop the bleeding. That is not an option with the newer medications.
There have been several adverse effects reported in people who have used Xarelto:
- Cerebral Hemorrhage
- Peripheral Edema (Where Lower Limbs Become Swollen)
- Dyspnea (Difficulty Breathing)
- Decrease in Hemoglobin Production
- Thrombosis (Formation of Dangerous Blood Clots)
The FDA has not yet issued any type of recall; however, the agency’s Adverse Events Reporting System shows that more than 2,100 U.S. patients have suffered side effects after taking Xarelto. Of those, more than 1,800 believe the drug was the primary reason those side effects occurred. Tragically, 183 of those patients passed away while nearly 900 others had to be hospitalized.
What’s worse, several lawsuits have been filed against Bayer and Janssen alleging that they committed negligence by failing to warn doctors and patients of these potential health dangers. If patients had been given the proper information, many of them would have opted to take Warfarin because any excessive bleeding could have been treated with Vitamin K.
Take the First Step with a Free Review of Your Case
While plaintiffs have not yet received any settlement offers in Xarelto lawsuits, it is still extremely early in the process. In fact, lawsuits were only filed recently. At the McGartland Law Firm, we are aggressively pursuing litigation as we believe the drug manufacturers should be held responsible for their negligence. If you would like to discuss your case with our firm, do not hesitate to contact us today!