The use of blood thinners is common in our society to prevent blood clotting and strokes, both as a daily treatment and after hip or knee surgery. For years, Warfarin and Coumadin dominated the market, with minimal negative side effects for patients.
In 2011, pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Bayer introduced a new blood thinner, Xarelto, and quickly raked in great profits.
The older blood thinners, Warfarin and Coumadin, are generally taken twice a day, and require frequent doctor visits to monitor levels of the medicine in the blood. By taking the pills twice a day, patients maintain a relatively stable amount of the drugs in the body throughout the day. Doctors are able to adjust dosages and avoid serious bleeding episodes by keeping an eye on these levels with regular testing.
Xarelto is marketed as an alternative to the hassle of twice-a-day pills and frequent visits to the doctor’s office. Instead, patients take only one dose of the blood thinner each day. The drug’s website and commercials tout that regular blood monitoring is not required.
Without regular monitoring by a doctor, patients can suffer from preventable bleeding episodes because their dosages are not adjusted as needed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required Xarelto to change its warning label several times to emphasize the serious side effects that the drug can cause. Still, Xarelto is advertised as not requiring blood monitoring by a doctor.
Xarelto has been causing episodes of severe bleeding in patients who are taking the drug long term, for problems like atrial fibrillation, and in those taking the pill for a short time after surgery. The bleeding can be in the form of a nosebleed that just will not stop, or it can be internal bleeding that you cannot see. Internal bleeding can be fatal if uncontrolled – unlike Warfarin and Coumadin, Xarelto does not have a reversal agent, so once the bleeding starts, it cannot be stopped until the drug is out of the patient’s body.
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe bleeding episode after taking Xarelto, call the lawyers at Egerton Law today. We are investigating injuries caused by Xarelto and can help you determine whether you have a case against JNJ and Bayer. Call us at 336-814-2126 or fill out a web contact form with your questions about Xarelto.