Patients taking blood thinners often undergo tests to monitor factors related to clotting. A recent study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine (AEM) found that regular tests used to monitor clotting factors in patients may be unreliable when measuring risks of Xarelto internal bleeding.
The Importance of Routine Labs When Taking Anticoagulants
Patients need to be monitored when taking blood thinners to make sure there are no complications. Common side effects associated with anticoagulants include nosebleeds, easy bruising, and bleeding from the gums. Regular checkups track various clotting factors, such as prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), or international normalized ratio (INR). These elements are all used to determine if a person’s blood is clotting at a healthy rate.
The AEM study collected data from eight regional poison centers across nine states and examined information involving people exposed to rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis). Of the study’s 223 patients, 15 of the the subjects reported bleeding—and 11 of them were rivaroxaban users. However, coagulation tests were normal in most of the patients who experienced bleeding.
Inaccurate test results can put patients who use anticoagulants at a greater risk for bleeding complications. This could be particularly detrimental to people using rivaroxaban, which has been linked to adverse internal bleeding side effects.
Dangerous Hemorrhaging Associated with Blood Thinner
Anticoagulants help reduce a person’s risk of pulmonary embolism and stroke by breaking up blood clots. In some cases, blood thinners like Xarelto come with their own serious risks, such as life-threatening side effects.
A study published in The British Medical Journal actually found a two-fold higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with the use of rivaroxaban versus the drug warfarin. The goal of the study was to determine the safety of the drugs dabigatran and rivaroxaban compared to the medication warfarin. Researchers examined a sample of 46,163 patients, 1,649 of which were using rivaroxaban.
Other studies have linked hemorrhaging cases to the use of rivaroxaban as well. For instance, a study in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal found an association between Xarelto and spontaneous vitreous hemorrhaging. The risk for these events were particularly high when patients were transitioning from a baseline anticoagulant to rivaroxaban.
Several other side effects besides gastrointestinal bleeding and vitreous hemorrhaging are also associated with the use of Xarelto, including bleeding in the brain. All of these Xarelto side effects are serious and can increase mortality risks in some cases.
Xarelto Lawsuit Information
In June 2015, the number of lawsuits filed in Philadelphia’s Mass Tort had risen to nearly 350 cases, according to a Legal Bay LLC press release. The number of Xarelto lawsuits are rising in other states as well, with more than 400 lawsuits filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Plaintiffs are claiming pharmaceutical companies did not sufficiently warn customers about all of Xarelto’s side effects, a big one being uncontrollable internal bleeding.
For anticoagulant drugs like warfarin, bleeding problems are controlled using Vitamin K therapy. Xarelto does not have a solution for patients experiencing hemorrhaging issues, which in some cases can result in death. Internal bleeding can cause patients and family members a significant amount of pain and often results in hospitalization. Medical care is expensive, leaving patients concerned about health issues and finances.
Seek Legal Counsel
If you or a loved one has taken Xarelto and experienced adverse side effects, you may be entitled to file a Xarelto lawsuit. Get a free Xarelto case evaluation today to determine your options for pursuing a Xarelto claim.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.