When your doctor put you on Xarelto, the medication was supposed to protect you – not harm you. Yet the blood thinner that’s intended to prevent strokes, blood clots, and other medical problems can cause severe side effects.
Console and Associates has 25 years of experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we’ve worked with law firms across the country, including those that handle Xarelto claims. If we cannot handle a claim, our goal is to connect you with an experienced attorney who can. If you suffered after taking Xarelto, call today. We’ll ask you a few questions so that we can put you in touch with the right attorney.
Do I Have a Xarelto Injury Claim?
- Took the oral tablet Xarelto at a 10mg, 15mg, or 20mg dosage for any length of time, and
- Suffered a serious medical event such as a hemorrhagic stroke or internal bleeding during or shortly after taking the drug.
Xarelto injuries have been serious enough to result in hospitalization, disability, and, in some tragic cases, death. When you or your family suffered harm due to Xarelto, you deserve justice.
What Is Xarelto?
Xarelto is in a class of drugs called anticoagulants. These prescription drugs are more commonly called blood thinners. Xarelto is used to stop your blood from clotting.
Blood clotting is natural and normal. In fact, if your blood didn’t clot, or develop into thick clumps, you could bleed severely from even a minor cut.
The problem is that sometimes blood clots form inside the body when they’re not wanted or needed. Rather than protecting you from bleeding out, these blood clots pose a severe risk to your health.
- A pulmonary embolism, or PE, is a life-threatening condition in which a blood clot blocks the pulmonary arteries, stopping blood flow to your lungs.
- Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a blood clot develops in one of the deep veins of your legs. This blood clot can break off and move through your bloodstream – perhaps to the pulmonary arteries, where PE can develop.
- A stroke, also called a cerebrovascular accident, is a debilitating and life-threatening condition that results when a blood clot or another blockage stops blood flow to the brain.
Doctors may prescribe Xarelto medication to prevent blood clots from forming in the first place. Xarelto uses also include treating existing blood clots.
You might take Xarelto if you have PE or DVT, or if you have risk factors that make you more likely to develop these conditions. Your doctor might put you on Xarelto if you have a hip or knee replacement surgery. A physician might also prescribe the drug if an injury or illness keeps you immobilized. You might end up taking Xarelto if you have a condition called atrial fibrillation. This means that your heartbeat is irregular. An irregular heartbeat puts you at an increased risk of developing blood clots.
Taking Xarelto stops your blood from clotting even in situations in which clotting is necessary. As a result, this drug is not safe for patients who have abnormal bleeding or a bleeding disorder.
Xarelto is the brand name or trade name of an anticoagulant medication called rivaroxaban. This brand name drug is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The company Bayer AG was jointly involved in developing Xarelto, Reuters reported.
Since the FDA approved Xarelto in 2011, sales of the drug have been a major source of revenue for the companies. In 2016 alone, the blood thinner brought in $3,240,000,000 for Bayer and $2,290,000,000 for Johnson & Johnson, The Chicago Tribune reported.
How Does Xarelto Work?
Xarelto differs from traditional anticoagulants like warfarin. Xarelto’s classification is non vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC). Xarelto is considered a novel oral anticoagulant. The blood thinners dabigatran (brand name Pradaxa) and apixaban (sold as Eliquis), are also novel oral anticoagulants.
These blood thinners aren’t dependent on vitamin K. Instead, Xarelto’s mechanism of action is interfering with a specific enzyme, Factor Xa, that causes blood to clot.
Like all medications, Xarelto has the potential to pose some health risks. However, some of these dangers – like internal bleeding, stroke, and wound complications – can cause patients to become hospitalized or even lose their lives. That’s why so many patients and families are now pursuing Xarelto class action lawsuits and private claims against the drug’s manufacturers.
If you are taking blood thinner medications, you need to be aware of the following Xarelto warnings.
The point of taking Xarelto and similar medications is to thin your blood to prevent blood clots. However, what happens if the drug causes you to bleed too much? That’s a very real risk, and it’s essentially the cause of most Xarelto claims.
Internal Bleeding While Taking Xarelto
A major problem with Xarelto is internal bleeding, including:
- Arteries and veins, including the aorta and the inferior vena cava
- Bladder or ureter
- Intestines or duodenum
- Pericardial sac that covers the heart
A Xarelto GI bleed or other instance of internal bleeding can be serious – even deadly. Often, patients with internal bleeding must be hospitalized. In some tragic cases, even prompt medical attention just isn’t enough to stop the bleeding.
The bleeding problems related to Xarelto can take many forms. In addition to the many kinds of internal bleeds, these issues can also lead to strokes, wound problems, and other Xarelto dangers. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Xarelto and Hemorrhagic Strokes
A particularly devastating complication related to Xarelto is hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding stroke, occurs when a leak from a weakened blood vessel or a burst aneurysm puts pressure on the brain. This pressure can damage the brain’s cells and tissues.
Hemorrhagic strokes are less common than the ischemic strokes that result from blockages traveling to the brain. However, this condition is very deadly. Bleeding strokes account for 40 percent of all stroke deaths, though they make up just 15 percent of total strokes.
Strokes aren’t the only conditions linked to Xarelto that can lead to brain injuries. The medication can also put you at risk for a subarachnoid hemorrhage or ruptured aneurysm. In this event, bleeding develops in the subarachnoid space. This is the space in between the brain and the protective tissue that covers the organ. Like strokes, subarachnoid hemorrhages are medical emergencies. They can kill a patient if not treated promptly.
Taking Xarelto may also raise your risk of developing a subdural hematoma. This condition occurs when a pool of blood collects in the subdural space, the space between the surface of the brain and its protective covering.
Wound Complications in Xarelto Users
Often, a surgery such as a hip or knee replacement is what causes patients to go on Xarelto to begin with. During recovery from these procedures, patients might not be as mobile as usual – which can raise their risk of developing a blood clot.
Unfortunately, taking Xarelto can lead to serious problems with recovering from these operations. The surgical wound can develop a leak, an infection, drainage complications, or a hematoma, an abnormal collection of blood that causes swelling. In some cases, patients may even need an additional operation to treat the complications that prevent the wound from healing.
The Severity of Xarelto Injuries
How serious are these problems? Some are life-threatening. Xarelto kills thousands of patients and leaves many more with serious medical conditions, as the thousands of ongoing lawsuits show. In fact, the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices traced 3,018 deaths and 21,996 injuries to the drug in 2016 alone.
Part of the problem with the blood thinner rivaroxaban is that, once it begins acting on the body – often, within a few hours – it has no antidote. The drug’s effects on your blood’s ability to clot can last for 24 hours or longer after the most recent dose.
If you suffer an injury, develop an internal bleeding problem, or require an emergency surgery within that time period, you are in trouble. Your blood won’t be able to clot. You could be in danger of bleeding out.
To some degree, all anticoagulant medications pose a bleeding risk. However, the effects of traditional blood thinners like warfarin can be reversed. Giving patients vitamin K can restore the blood’s ability to clot. That’s not the case with Xarelto.
Side Effects of Xarelto
Severe bleeding is the most serious complication of taking this drug. The most common Xarelto effects also involve bleeding issues – usually minor ones.
When taking Xarelto, you might experience mild symptoms such as:
- Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth
- Unusually heavy menstrual bleeding
- Abnormal bleeding from minor cuts or injuries
- Bruising more easily
These side effects of Xarelto can be harmless. However, if these minor bleeding issues occur frequently or don’t stop, they could result in more serious bleeding troubles.
Xarelto patients sometimes complain about effects such as blisters, itching, a tingling “pins and needles” sensation, and an increase in fluid drainage from surgical wounds. Speak with your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
Pursuing a Xarelto Lawsuit
What can you do if you’ve sustained serious harm because of a blood thinner drug? One option is to pursue a claim against Xarelto’s manufacturer.
The Reasons Behind Xarelto Lawsuits
The damages suffered when your blood thinner causes you to develop severe internal bleeding, a hemorrhagic stroke, or problems with surgical wound healing are significant.
The pain you have to endure can be tremendous. If the complication leaves you with long-term medical issues, you may not be up to doing the things you used to do. A stroke, for example, can leave you severely disabled. The medical bills pile up. How can you afford to pay them? How can you afford the care you need to make the best possible recovery? And how can you cope with the changes – perhaps permanent changes – in your quality of life?
Manufacturers are also fending off other legal claims related to the drug. Xarelto mass tort lawyers have accused Johnson & Johnson and Bayer of “falsely marketing” the medication as being more effective and easier to use than traditional blood thinners like warfarin, according to The Chicago Tribune.
In fact, just because the drug doesn’t require the same regular tests to measure blood-plasma levels doesn’t mean it’s safer or better. The lack of an antidote means that patients who suffer bleeding while on the blood thinner could be in more danger than patients on traditional anticoagulants.
Xarelto MDL and Individual Lawsuits
If your research into the blood thinner began after seeing a Xarelto commercial, you might have questions about class action claims. Xarelto class action lawsuits are cases in which a group of people who suffered similar harm sue the negligent party together. You would be just one of many plaintiffs, all pursuing a claim against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer.
A class action, or multidistrict litigation (MDL), isn’t the right choice for every case or every claimant. Whether you should pursue a class action claim or an individual Xarelto lawsuit depends on several factors. If you experienced an adverse reaction after taking Xarelto, speak with an attorney. If you’re not sure which attorney to call, contact our firm. We’ve worked with law firms across the country during our 25-year history and will connect you with a lawyer who has experience filing drug interaction injury claims like yours.