Within the past few years, a newer blood thinner has been introduced to the medicinal world. With its available release to U.S. patients since 2011, Xarelto has been one of the top-selling blood thinners on the market. Bayer is the organization that markets Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals – the face behind Xarelto. As J&J’s third-largest seller, Xarelto brought in nearly $2.29 billion in 2016. Boehringer Ingelheim, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug, eventually opted to pay a $650 million settlement in hopes of easing thousands of impacted patients and their families. The FDA originally approved the drug for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery to prevent deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, low blood pressure (non-valvular atrial fibrillation), heart rhythm disorder (atrial fibrillation), and help prevent the risk of stroke.
This anticoagulant works by blocking clotting proteins in the user’s own bloodstream. Such has been viewed as a "better" alternative to the similar drug, Warfarin. Questions quickly arose with the drug once patients began experiencing adverse side effects like internal bleeding, and even death. The Food and Drug Administration reported at least 370 deaths linked to Xarelto.
A jury in New Orleans reached a verdict based on a lawsuit filed by Joseph Orr, and his children. Mr. Orr filed the lawsuit in regards to his wife’s death in 2015. Mrs. Sharyn Orr suffered a stroke a year after she was prescribed Xarelto – which was originally prescribed to treat her atrial fibrillation. Based on inadequate information provided by Bayer, a doctor decided to wait 12 hours before operating on Mrs. Orr, fearing she would bleed out. Ms. Orr passed away May 4 2015, despite the surgery.
Much like other anticoagulants (like Pradaxa), there is no true way to rid of its harmful impact. When patients begin to experience these unfortunate effects, the only true antidote is the essence of time. Though excessive bleeding may be rather impossible to repair, patients experiencing such discomfort are at a high risk of death. Other serious adverse effects from taking Xarelto include:
Xarelto, or rivaroxaban is a drug that was FDA approved in 2011 for patients suffering from deep vein thrombosis. This is a blood clot lodged in a vein, usually in the leg. One of the complications of deep vein thrombosis is a pulmonary embolism, which happens when the clot breaks off and travels to the lung. Rivaroxaban is prescribed to treat both conditions. It’s also used by people who suffer from a type of atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heart rhythm. This type of atrial fibrillation doesn’t involve damaged valves. It does cause the heart muscles to fibrillate, or quiver and reduces blood flow to the brain and other areas of the body. It also increases the risk of dangerous blood clots and stroke.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a medical emergency. While it begins as several days of a flu like illness, it evolves into a gruesome and incredibly painful disease. This disease causes large sections of the sufferer's skin to fall off. Mucous membranes (including the mouth) are also affected by incredibly painful lesions. Serious cases of the disease have a mortality rate that ranges between 30-40%.
Xarelto can cause gradual or sudden liver damage. This can prove fatal. Acute liver failure from the drug can occur over a period of only a few days. Cases of liver damage from the drug that don't prove fatal still result in emotionally and physically painful symptoms, such as:
The active ingredient in Xarelto is Rivaroxaban. It became popular because it works very quickly and only needs to be taken once a day. However, unlike Warfarin and other older anticoagulants, it has no antidote. It also cannot be cleared from the bloodstream by dialysis, which is a procedure that can be used for some other blood thinners. This means that if a patient begins to bleed while this drug is active in his system, the bleeding cannot be stopped.
Uncontrolled bleeding can occur either internally or from a surface wound. Patients may discover that they are bleeding internally if they display any of the following signs:
The risk of internal bleeding increases if Xarelto is taken with other blood thinners, including aspirin. Left unchecked, internal bleeding can damage the organs and lead to strokes and permanent paralysis. It can ultimately result in death.
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