Xarelto is an oral medication developed by the Bayer company as an anticoagulant or blood thinner used to treat patients with atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular or rapid heartbeat stemming from poor blood flow; or individuals with pulmonary embolisms, which are blood clots found in the lungs, and/or deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot present in the leg. Using the blood thinner Xarelto helps to prevent blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation and to dissolve blood clots for those individuals who are diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms and/or deep vein thrombosis.
Doctors often prescribe Xarelto for patients who undergo knee or hip replacement surgery. The medication is used to reduce the risk of blood clots and to decrease the risk of stroke in patients who have atrial fibrillation.
In 2013, the FDA issued a warning letter about Xarelto because the advertisements for the drug minimized the health risks associated with its use. Currently, the FDA label carries a “black box” warning, which informs the user that the drug comes with serious health hazards. The warning states that taking Xarelto puts the patient at risk for serious or fatal bleeding.
When using Xarelto, a patient is at risk of suffering from various side effects. The most serious and deadly side effect is parenchymal or intraparenchymal hemorrhages, which is bleeding from the brain. Other major side effects from the drug’s use involve serious and sometimes uncontrollable bleeding including stomach, intestinal and rectal bleeding and stroke. If bleeding happens in the vicinity of major organs like the brain, lungs or kidneys, proper blood flow decreases or ceases altogether, which leads to organ dysfunction and significant blood loss. These conditions may lead to hospitalization or even fatal injury.
Other side effects include fainting, numb or tingling muscles, muscle pain or spasms, pain or weakness in one’s arms or legs, back pain, loss of ability to control movement, abnormal liver function, reduced platelet levels, bladder or bowel dysfunction, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, dizziness, or headache.
An increased risk of wound complications like infection or leakage in knee or hip replacement surgeries may accompany the use of Xarelto, which may require additional surgeries. Moreover, patients who take the drug and have spinal injections, epidurals or surgery have an increased risk of developing blood clots in and around the spine which may cause paralysis.
If a patient is taking Xarelto and combines it with a host of other medications, the individual may increase the risk of bleeding or reduce the performance of the drug. For example, NSAIDs like ibuprofen, Advil, aspirin, Aleve, naproxen; and SSRIs like Zoloft and Prozac may increase the risk of bleeding. Many others like St. John’s Wort and phenobarbital react in an adverse manner when used in tandem with Xarelto.
When a patient uses a medication that is supposed to help prevent and/or reduce the risk of severe medical conditions but instead leads to additional surgeries, hospitalizations, or serious, even fatal, illnesses, we urge you to contact our Philadelphia medical product liability lawyers. At Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler, we will review the details of your case and help determine what your next steps will be towards holding the negligent parties responsible. We will not stop until we retrieve the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or 800-369-0899 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.