Am I at risk for dangerous bleeding if I take Xarelto?
Some users have had uncontrolled bleeding when using the anti-coagulant drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban).
Xarelto is a blood thinner used to reduce the risk for blood clots. It is given to people who have had hip or knee replacement surgery. After these surgeries, there is a higher risk for health problems related to blood clots. The drug is also used by people at risk for stroke.
Xarelto is made by Bayer and sold in the United States by Janssen, a partner of drug giant Johnson & Johnson.
The drug works by blocking the process the body uses to make blood clot and stop bleeding. All patients are given the same dosage of Xarelto, no matter their differences in weight and health needs. There is also no antidote for Xarelto, which means users can have severe bleeding events for which there is no cure. Older anti-clotting drugs like warfarin do have an antidote and are given in patient-specific doses.
Bleeding Risks and Xarelto
It’s possible for someone to be given too much Xarelto or for another event to trigger an uncontrolled bleeding event. When this occurs, patients must wait at least 24 hours after their last dose for the drug to be flushed from their body. It’s possible that a bleeding event lasting this long could be fatal.
Users of Xarelto do not need to undergo testing, which means there are no regular check-ins with doctors. If there is a problem with the drug, a great deal of time could pass before the issue is brought to a doctor’s attention.
Xarelto puts users at risk for serious internal bleeding. If you are taking Xarelto, you should be aware of the symptoms of internal bleeding, which include:
- Blood in stool
- Easy bruising
- Pale skin
- Low blood cell count
- Swelling in the stomach area
- Dizzy feeling
- “Stroke-like” symptoms
It is possible to have a bleeding event without any symptoms. Users of this drug should report anything strange to their doctor as soon as something is noticed.
FDA’s Stand on Xarelto
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received nearly 700 adverse event reports during the first three months of 2013. Some of the events were fatal.
As a result of the dangers of Xarelto, the FDA forced the drug’s maker to include a black box warning on the package. This warning also addressed the danger of stopping Xarelto use and about the drug’s potential to cause a blood pool following an epidural or spinal surgery. This can lead to long-term or permanent disability.
Other than bleeding events and other black box-level side effects, Xarelto can also trigger a number of mild to moderate side effects, such as:
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle plain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nose bleeding
Xarelto Dose Information Wrong
In June 2014, Janssen Pharmaceuticals was forced to alert doctors that the website had wrong information. The information was related to the dosage amount of the drug.
The first Xarelto lawsuits filed against Bayer were made public in June of 2014. There were nine claims filed after users had bleeding events. Adverse events linked to Xarelto might happen at a rate of two thousand per year.
One of the original lawsuits filed against makers of Xarelto was from a Vermont family who lost a loved one to an uncontrolled brain hemorrhage after using Xarelto for only 10 days. The family claims Xarelto makers were aware of the risks and the lack of antidote for bleeding events, but failed to warn doctors and consumers.
If you or a loved one suffered a bleeding event or other side effect after taking Xarelto, you might be able to get money to pay for your medical costs.