The blood thinner Xarelto was developed as a lower-maintenance alternative to the anticoagulant warfarin, marketed under the brand name Coumadin. Xarelto, also known as rivaroxaban, received FDA approval in 2011. The medication is manufactured by Bayer and marketed in the United States by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The company markets Xarelto as a safer and more effective product than Coumadin. However, an increased risk of hemorrhaging with Xarelto has resulted in numerous injuries and lawsuits.
Xarelto is prescribed to prevent or treat blood clots in patients diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and deep vein thrombosis. It is also commonly prescribed to patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery, as these operations increase the risk of blood clots.
The Side Effects
The most serious and potentially fatal Xarelto side effect is uncontrolled bleeding, which can prove fatal. Most often, this involves severe hemorrhaging or gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding may also occur in the eyes and inside the head, a condition known as intracranial bleeding.
Prior to Xarelto, the most common blood thinner on the market was Warfarin. While Warfarin can also cause internal bleeding, there is an antidote – Vitamin K. There is no antidote for patients experiencing internal bleeding or hemorrhaging due to Xarelto-use. In an emergency, doctors can do relatively little to stop severe bleeding. Lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson did not properly instruct healthcare providers on methods of treating Xarelto patients in the event of an emergency. Other common side effects include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Bladder and bowel issues
- Back pain
- Increased menstrual flow
- Vaginal bleeding
- Wound infections
- Numbness or tingling, burning sensations
- Bleeding gums
- Bloody, tarry feces.
Less common side effects include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and irregular heartbeat. While Xarelto is designed to prevent blood clots, the FDA has received reports of the drug actually contributing to blood clots in some patients. This is especially true among individuals who stop taking the drug suddenly. For this reason, there is now an FDA black box warning on Xarelto’s labeling about the risks associated with suddenly stopping treatment.
Some patients have died after taking Xarelto, but even those who survive the bleeding associated with the drug may spend extended time in the hospital. For working adults, long-term hospitalization typically translates to lost wages. As such, side effects associated with Xarelto may not only affect a patient’s long-term health, but can cause financial ruin as well. To add insult to injury, Johnson & Johnson has yet to properly warn patients of the health risks associated with their product.
The Goldwater Law Firm – Fighting for the Rights of Drug Injury Victims Nationwide
People who have experienced severe bleeding after taking Xarelto may be eligible to seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you or a loved one has suffered such complications after taking Xarelto, it is in your best interest to contact a drug injury lawyer immediately. The Goldwater Law Firm has extensive experience working with drug injury victims. Our knowledgeable, compassionate team of injury attorneys will help you determine the best way to move forward. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can move on with your life. Contact the Goldwater Law Firm today for a free consultation.