Anticoagulants, usually prescribed to patients suffering from irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation) or patients recovering from invasive surgery, thin the users’ blood to prevent clotting. The most popularly prescribed anticoagulants are Pradaxa and Xarelto.
Pradaxa, an anticoagulant manufactured by Boehringer Ingleheim Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the FDA in 2010 to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with blood clotting issues. Xarelto, manufactured by Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, was approved in 2011 for similar purposes relating to prevention of post surgery clotting and treatment for atrial fibrillation.
Both of these medications are often marketed as a superior alternative to the drug warfarin, which has been a popular anticoagulant since the 1950’s. The main difference between the new drugs and warfarin is that the new drugs are known to cause internal bleeding, and, unlike warfarin, they’ve had no antidote until very recently.
Warfarin operates by slowing down the production of a vitamin k based clotting substance within the body, and can have its effects reversed with a dose of vitamin k. Pradaxa, which is considered by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices to be the most dangerous medicine currently under review, had no way to reverse its effects while it is in the blood stream for nearly five years. This was very harmful to users, as the drug can lead to death by internal bleeding, or stroke.
Due to the lack of an antidote, there have been many cases of horrific trauma from both users of these new anticoagulants, and their loved ones. In one instance, a California man saw his wife suddenly die from unstoppable internal bleeding after having taken Pradaxa for three months. Due to doctors’ reports and patient surveys in the years following its approval, at least three black box warnings were issued by the FDA concerning Pradaxa, and the warnings were altered and updated several times. Between 2010 and 2012 Pradaxa was linked to over 500 deaths which resulted from internal bleeding. The most recent information links Xarelto to over 50 fatality cases, however the number has likely risen since the last surveys were taken in 2014.
In 2015, the first case against Jannsen Pharmaceuticals was filed regarding Xarelto, on the grounds that the drug contained serious possible side effects with no antidote, and that patients were not warned of these side effects properly. Since 2015 nearly 3,000 cases have been filed and consolidated through Multi-District Legislation. The most recent information links Xarelto to over fifty fatality cases.
As of 2015, over 750 fatality incidents have been linked to Pradaxa, and over 4,000 lawsuits have been filed accusing the makers of Pradaxa of improper testing and marketing a dangerous drug. In the wake of a staggering consolidated lawsuit, Boehringer Pharmaceuticals settled for a sum of $650 million to be distributed among the injured who filed a claim.
If you or a loved one have experienced hospitalization or death after being prescribed Pradaxa or Xarelto, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation covering hospital fees, funeral fees, and pain and suffering. It is important to understand that in pharmaceutical cases the plaintiff’s personal doctor is not held responsible for damages. The attorneys at Jones Brown are determined to help those damaged by prescription drugs recover losses. To find out if you qualify for a case, fill out our brief questionnaire.