Concerns Raised about Blood Thinner Xarelto
By Jim Lewis, VA/NC Medical Malpractice Attorney
Federal drug regulators have received a number of reports involving blood clots associated with the new anticoagulant Xarelto, a surprising twist given that other blood thinners such as Pradaxa have been more often associated with episodes of uncontrolled bleeding.
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was introduced to the market by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals in July of 2011 and the drug was billed as a superior alternative to warfarin for prevention of blood clots in certain cases, as patients who use the new drug are supposed to require less monitoring.
Another drug from the same class, Pradaxa, was introduced in October 2010 and since has been linked to a shocking number of severe bleeding events, hemorrhages and deaths. Since its introduction, Pradaxa has become one of the medications most often associated with adverse events according to FDA reports.
Last month the Institute for Safe Medication Practices released their QuarterWatch Report, which uncovered a number of alarming reports revealing problems with Xarelto. The new report indicates that there have been at least 356 adverse event reports submitted to the FDA during the first quarter of 2012 alone. This represents a doubling of the number of reports submitted to the agency about the drug in the final quarter of 2011.
Unlike Pradaxa, the most common problem with Xarelto is not uncontrolled bleeding, but instead serious blood clots. The risk is especially pronounced among patients under the age of 66, many of whom were taking the drug after hip or knee surgery. The FDA received 158 reports about the drug associated with blood clots during the first three months of the year. The big problem is, of course, that this is the precise event the drug has been designed to prevent.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has told reporters that the high number of blood clot reports were simply a function of how well the drug was doing commercially. Sadly, the popularity appears to be coming at a high cost to innocent consumers.
The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:
Given the recent studies showing the risks of Xarelto, it’s surprising that the drug is still being marketed to patients. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you should contact an experienced VA personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective drugs recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.
If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous drug, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.
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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.