Xarelto is one of a newer class of anticoagulants that are often used rather than Coumadin (warfarin), a blood thinner that has been used to treat blood clots, stroke risk and other conditions for years. Although Xarelto was just introduced in Kansas and across the nation in 2011, it has already been prescribed for use about 4 million patients on an annualized basis. Sales of the medication are now approaching $1 billion annually.
The very nature of blood thinners means that they typically carry some risk of internal bleeding. However, some lawsuits have been filed that claim that patients were not properly informed of this danger. A competing anticoagulant, Pradaxa, has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits as well.
Lack of a Reversing Agent
Also, the potential for internal bleeding or even hemorrhagic episodes is problematic because there is no known and approved reversing agent that can be administered when internal bleeding occurs. When Coumadin had been used in the past, physicians recognized that Vitamin K could be given to patients experiencing internal bleeding or hemorrhage. The Vitamin K was capable of reversing the anticoagulant effect of Coumadin. With Xarelto, patients and doctors face the prospect of uncontrollable bleeding events that have reportedly caused permanent injury or even loss of life.
FDA Receives Complaints
In part because of such problems with Xarelto side effects, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported receiving numerous complaints about Xarelto. In 2013 alone, the FDA indicated that it had received hundreds of reports of uncontrollable bleeding when patients were taking Xarelto.
Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Patients
Both the frequency and the severity of some reported Xarelto side effects have caused concern among certain patients. Now, internal hemorrhaging and other adverse events are causing an increasing number of lawsuits to be filed in Kansas and in other states. Some plaintiffs have alleged that they suffered serious or even permanent injury because they took Xarelto. These complainants have sought monetary damages for unpaid medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and future medical care necessitated by adverse Xarelto side effects. Survivors that allege that a family member died due to Xarelto side effects have also filed wrongful death lawsuits. Such litigation will often seek compensation for loss of companionship, burial expenses, and other losses.
Some plaintiffs have also indicated that they want Xarelto recalled until an approved reversing agent reaches the market that can be given to treat uncontrollable bleeding.
Manufacturers Want Wider Use of Xarelto
At the same time that Xarelto litigation is increasing, the joint manufacturers of the drug, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare, want Xarelto to be approved to treat acute coronary syndrome (ACS). They have backed new clinical trials to seek FDA approval for such use despite the fact that the federal agency has declined previous such requests. When the FDA refused to approve new uses of Xarelto, it specifically cited the problem of uncontrollable bleeding as the reason for their decision.
Injured by Xarelto Side Effects?
If you or a loved one has suffered from serious Xarelto side effects, or if a loved one has been killed after taking Xarelto and suffering uncontrollable bleeding, contact Attorney Group for Kansas. We can help you understand your options in your particular situation. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you with the legal process. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.