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Many patients have been drawn to the prescription blood-thinner, Xarelto, by print and TV ads featuring celebrity endorsers. These ads tout the purported benefits of Xarelto. For instance, the ads claim that users do not need regular blood testing or have to follow restricted diets.
However, many believe that the companies behind Xarelto have failed to adequately warn patients and their doctors of a potentially fatal side effect: The increased risk of excessive internal bleeding. As a result, patients in Virginia and across the country may have been unknowingly exposed to this risk and suffered serious harm.
At Marks & Harrison, our product liability lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered a severe bleeding episode that may be linked to Xarelto use, please contact us without delay.
We can provide a free, immediate and confidential review of your case and guide you through your legal options. We are available to serve clients in Richmond and throughout Virginia. Call or click here today to get started.
What Is Xarelto?
Xarelto is an anticoagulant medication. In other words, it prevents blood clots.
The active ingredient in Xarelto, rivaroxaban, prevents the body from producing an enzyme, thrombin, which causes blood clots to form. One particular type of blood clot, a thrombus, can detach and cause a blockage that leads to a stroke or heart attack.
Xarelto typically is prescribed to treat or prevent blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) in patients who:
- Recently had hip or knee replacement surgery, or
- Suffer from non-heart valve-related atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
For many years, the most widely used anticoagulant medication was warfarin (Coumadin). However, people who use this drug need to watch their diet and limit, in particular, their intake of vitamin K. This is because the vitamin can halt the blood-thinning effects of the drug.
In recent years, Xarelto and other anticoagulant medications such as Pradaxa and Eliquis have been introduced to the U.S. market as convenient alternatives to warfarin. This is because vitamin K does not interact with Xarelto like it does warfarin, and as a result, a user does not need to restrict his or her diet.
According to Reuters, Xarelto owns 34 percent of the global market share for these drugs, making it a top-seller for Bayer HealthCare and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary).
What Are Xarelto Side Effects?
The problem with Xarelto is that, unlike warfarin, vitamin K cannot be used as an antidote if excessive bleeding occurs. No other antidote has been approved yet for the U.S. market.
So, if a Xarelto user suffers a severe bleeding episode, the user will likely need to wait until the drug has passed through his or her system. According to the Xarelto label, in a patient between the ages of 20 to 45, this could take as long as nine hours.
As a result, a Xarelto user who suffers a bleeding episode could face the risk of hemorrhaging (when a blood vessel bursts) or death. In fact, as Bloomberg News reports, consumers claim that at least 65 deaths have been connected to Xarelto.
For this reason, a Xarelto user should be alert to signs of excessive internal bleeding such as bleeding within the gastrointestinal system. These side effects include:
- Severe, prolonged headaches
- Feelings of dizziness or faintness
- Numbness or tingling in the limbs
- Bleeding in the nose or gums
- Rectal blooding (seen in dark or tarry stool)
- Red or dark-colored urine
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Heavy menstruation.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of these side effects, it is important contact your doctor right away. As the Xarelto label warns, it is dangerous to suddenly stop taking Xarelto without first getting guidance from your doctor.
What Are My Legal Options?
In addition to getting medical attention, you should consult with an attorney as well. At Marks & Harrison, our product liability attorneys would be glad to meet with you right away.
We can sort through your options, which may include bringing a claim in a state or federal court that seeks compensation for the harm you have suffered such as medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.
It is important to know that many lawsuits have already been filed in state and federal courts across the country against Bayer and Janssen.
The lawsuits are alleging that these companies should be held liable to patients who took Xarelto without an adequate warning about its risks, including the risk of uncontrolled, excessive bleeding.
Many lawsuits filed in federal courts recently were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. This is called multidistrict litigation, or MDL. The Xarelto MDL is MDL No. 2592.
In a MDL, each lawsuit remains separate and distinct from other lawsuits. However, the lawsuits have been transferred to one court for the purpose of cutting down on the time and costs involved with pretrial litigation and a formal evidence-gathering process called “discovery.”
Contact a Virginia Xarelto Excessive Internal Bleeding Attorney Today
The product liability attorneys of Marks & Harrison have the skill, experience and resources it takes to investigate your case and carefully guide it through the claims process. We will make sure that your case receives personalized attention, and your legal rights and interests are protected, at every stage.
If you or a loved one has suffered excessive, harmful bleeding after taking Xarelto, contact us without delay. We can serve you from our office in Richmond or at any one of our many locations throughout Virginia.
Sources / More Information:
- Xarelto Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2592), U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
- Trial for Bayer Drug Xarelto Under Scrutiny Over Defective Device, Reuters
- Bayer, J&J Fight Calls to Unify Blood-Thinner Death Suits, Bloomberg Business
- Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), NetDoctor.co.uk
- Xarelto, WebMD