The Federal Drug Administration approved the drug Pradaxa for use in people with atrial fibrillation in 2010 and most recently approved Xarelto in 2012 to prevent stroke in people with a common type of abnormal heart rhythm and for patients recovering from knee and hip replacement surgery. Both Pradaxa and Xarelto work as anti-clotting drugs and are the first medicines in almost 60 years that offer an alternative to the use of Warfarin.
Warfarin has been the most widely used anti-coagulant drug in the world. Although Warfarin helps to prevent blot clots in many people whose health conditions predisposes them to such problems, the drug itself has many serious side effects including uncontrolled bleeding. In addition there are a large number of other medications and foods which interact with Warfarin and can either decrease its effectiveness or cause a higher risk of bleeding problems. The use of Warfarin also requires close supervision by a doctor, frequent checkups and blood testing to ensure that there is not too much or too little of the drug in the system.
Pradaxa & Xarelto Requires Less Supervision & Testing
With the advent of these new anticoagulant drugs there has been hope for better treatment as these new anti-coagulant drugs do not require frequent checkups or blood tests. Unfortunately the new drugs carry risks of their own. For example, with Warfarin you can easily get a shot of Vitamin K to counteract any emergency bleeding but with the new drugs there are no antidotes for any excessive bleeding.
People who take anticoagulants know that they bruise and bleed easily even from small bumps and cuts. If they should need emergency surgery or are involved in an accident bleeding could easily become a life threatening situation. With no antidote to treat life threatening bleeding the new drugs cause worry about any emergency bleeding situations.
The new drugs also cost about $3,000 a year compared to generic Warfarin at $200 a year. So far Warfarin continues to be the most prescribed with over 33 million prescriptions in the U.S. last year. Pradaxa is running second with about 2.2 million yearly prescriptions and Xarelto the newest drug on the market had about 1,300 scripts for 2013.
Thousands of Lawsuits Involving New Anticoagulant Medications
Pradaxa had been blamed for more than 500 deaths in the first two years it was on the market and by the middle of 2014, not admitting any fault on their part, the manufacturer of Pradaxa settled 4,000 lawsuits costing them $650 million dollars.
While there is the risk of uncontrolled bleeding when using any type of blood thinner or anticoagulant, these new drugs have no antidote to administer in emergency situations which may require hospitalization and/or result in death.
If you or a family member has been seriously impacted or died due to Pradaxa, Xarelto or any type of medication you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs or more. You should always get the opinion of an experienced product liability attorney who can review your case and advise you on your best course of action.
These types of personal injury cases can be complicated and may also involve medical malpractice on the part of a physician who may have been negligent in prescribing medication that was contraindicated.
Contact Attorney Joel Baskin
Contact attorney Joel Baskin for a free initial consultation about your personal injury case. Joel has two convenient offices in East Point and Vinings. Call today and see how Joel can help you!