A recent study conducted on new blood thinners and their potential gastrointestinal bleeding risks found that Xarelto (clinically known as rivaroxaban) and Pradaxa (dabigatran) could be more dangerous than warfarin. The latter was once the industry standard, but has since been replaced by Xarelto and Pradaxa in hopes of finding a safer, lower maintenance drug. Recent Xarelto lawsuits indicate this may not be the case at all, as many people have sustained serious internal bleeding injuries while taking the anticoagulant.
Xarelto and Pradaxa Linked to Increased Gastrointestinal Bleeding Risk
This study, published in the British Medical Journal by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined a group of individuals who, prior to the study, had experienced no gastrointestinal bleeding. The effects of three different drugs were considered: rivaroxaban, dabigatran, and warfarin.
While this particular study found that there was no statistically different risk associated with the new anticoagulants in comparison with warfarin, it did rule that while all three blood thinners raised the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, the 50 percent risk increase associated with dabigatran and the twofold higher risk associated with rivaroxaban could not be ruled out based on the findings. It’s also important to note that even though the three drugs may not have illustrated a difference between themselves, the use of anticoagulants does overall increase a person’s risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Xarelto vs. Warfarin: Which Is Safer?
Xarelto, produced by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, was created in hopes that it would be safer and easier to prescribe than the previously leading anticoagulant warfarin. While the former drug has been used as a blood thinner for decades, it requires a greater degree of doctor supervision. New anticoagulants claim that they can be taken without this degree of supervision—a premise that many doctors and patients are reconsidering now, as internal bleeding injuries continue to rise.
One major problem with new anticoagulants such as Xarelto is a lack of antidote. Warfarin can result in internal bleeding injuries as well, but this serious side effect can mitigated with the administration of vitamin K. Xarelto, on the other hand, has no antidote. This means that internal bleeding (such as the gastrointestinal injuries studied in April) can’t be stopped—which can be lethal.
Other types of internal bleeding injuries to watch out for include:
- Brain hemorrhage
- Rectal bleeding
- Heavier than normal menstruation
- Unexplained bruising
- Vomiting blood
- Blood in the urine
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Coughing up blood
According to Reuters, several doctors have speculated on the supposed benefits of Xarelto and other new blood thinners, claiming that many injuries result from an improper use of the drug overall. The lack of doctor supervision, patient knowledge and pre-prescription testing is likely a culprit of the internal bleeding injuries. The supposed benefit of Xarelto—lower maintenance administration—might be doing more harm than good after all.
What You Can Do
If you or someone you know has taken Xarelto and experienced internal bleeding injuries, you may be eligible to file a Xarelto lawsuit. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney, as he or she is familiar with mass torts of this nature. The more you know before you begin, the more likely you are to be successful moving forward. With the number of Xarelto lawsuits constantly rising, there’s never been a better time to make your 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.