Xarelto and Pradaxa
The prescription drugs Xarelto and Pradaxa are prescribed as blood thinners, otherwise known as anticoagulants, used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots. The drugs were designed to replace the long-used drug Warfarin (brand names: Coumadin and Jantoven). Warfarin is a proven and effective anticoagulant but is also know for the difficulty involved in properly administering the medication.
Warfarin requires constant monitoring, as the appropriate therapeutic level is a narrow target that fluctuates from patient to patient and can be disrupted by a multitude of factors, including the patient’s diet. If the target is missed, the patient can experience serious consequences: if the medication level is too low, the patient’s blood will still be prone to clotting, while at the other end of the spectrum, the blood will be too thin, increasing the risk of dangerous and uncontrolled bleeding. For this reason, patients taking warfarin must undergo frequent blood testing to ensure the proper therapeutic level of the medication is in their system.
The newer anticoagulants Xarelto and Pradaxa are far less prone to such variability in their administration. For this reason, the frequent blood tests are not required. However, a more dangerous concern has developed. If a patient taking Xarelto or Pradaxa begins to bleed uncontrollably, there is no counteragent or antidote to the anticoagulant effects—a failing that is not present with warfarin. In other words, if a patient taking Xarelto of Pradaxa suffers from some bleeding event, he or she can suffer serious injury or death from blood loss.
Since 2015, thousands of lawsuits had been filed, claiming drug companies failed to adequately warn prescribing physicians about the deadly bleeding episodes caused by the drug. In 2014, the German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to pay $650 million to settle about 4,000 lawsuits over Pradaxa, and in March of 2019, pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson and Bayer agreed to pay $775 million to settle about 25,000 lawsuits involving the blood thinner Xarelto, which they jointly sell.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death due to uncontrollable bleeding while taking either Xarelto or Pradaxa, contact the experienced dangerous drug attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation.