Blood Thinners Like Xarelto among most Dangerous Drugs
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was approved in 2011, and hence is fairly new to the market for blood thinners. It is manufactured by Bayer and marketed in the United States by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson’s. However, recently some are becoming concerned about the safety of the drug.
The original anti-coagulant drug was warfarin (Coumadin), first approved in 1956, and then dabigatran (Pradaxa) was launched, followed by Xarelto. However, there are concerns that the pharmaceutical companies did not carry out sufficient work before launching the warfarin replacements, despite the fact that they were as good, if not better than, warfarin in preventing strokes or blood clot problems, and they obviated the need for weekly or monthly blood tests.
In 2011 thousands of people reported suffering from serious side effects after using Pradaxa and more than 540 patients died. This was then followed by a series of lawsuits against the manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim. Most of the lawsuits were brought together into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Illinois. The result was that 4,000 people will be awarded part of a $650 million settlement, which Boehringer Ingelheim has agreed to.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has since revealed that blood thinners, which include Xarelto, are among the most dangerous classes of drugs, receiving the highest quantity of serious side effects reported to the FDA. Yet just as in the case of Pradaxa, thousands of prescriptions have been written for Xarelto and now patients and doctors alike are wondering if it will have the same risks. Once hemorrhaging begins there is no antidote for the drug, just like Pradaxa, and patients can simply bleed to death in front of their family and doctor.
As early as the first quarter of 2010 there were 356 reports of injuries which were serious or even fatal, thought to have been caused by Xarelto. It appears that, unlike warfarin which can lead to hemorrhage as the blood thins, Xarelto not only has the problem with unstoppable bleeding, but there seemed to be serious injuries resulting from blood clots which is what the drug is supposed to prevent.
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