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Xarelto is the trade name of rivaroxaban, a relatively new drug used to prevent cardiovascular events and treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Rivaroxaban first received a United States patent in 2007, and passed clinical trials for medical utilization in 2011. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson currently manufacture and distribute Xarelto. The drug is marketed in the United States by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Most American citizens have seen commercials starring golf legend Arnold Palmer, golfer Phil Mickelson, ex-basketball star Chris Bosh, among others. Similarly, many United States citizens have seen law firms’ advertisements for Xarelto litigation.

What’s wrong with Xarelto?

While Xarelto has helped many patients around the world with blood clotting disorders and atrial fibrillation live longer, healthier lives, thousands have underwent negative –sometimes deadly — side effects of the drug. Rivaroxaban can cause excessive internal bleeding, similar to drug warfarin. The drug is prescribed to patients who have not responded favorably to warfarin, which sometimes causes bleeding, as well. Unlike warfarin, Xarelto has no antidote to stop the excessive bleeding it sometimes causes.

How many people have been affected by Xarelto?

To date, more than one hundred fifty people have died as a direct result of Xarelto-caused internal bleeding. There are nearly fifteen thousand cases of Xarelto litigation outstanding in United States courts. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received in excess of two thousand formal complaints over the now-well-established side effects of Xarelto.

When did internal bleeding problems first occur?

The United States FDA received notice of the first Xarelto-related death in 2011, just months after it was approved for distribution and prescription in the United States. Shortly after, Xarelto litigation reared its ugly head in the United States.

Personal injury and similar drugs

While people in the United States undergo physical injury from car wrecks, freak accidents, and those caused from medication, many of those afflicted with such injuries get better and regain bodily function. Even medications with deadly side effects have antidotes, including those related to Xarelto. Pradaxa is a drug similar to Xarelto, treating the same medical issues, and has caused numerous bleeding incidents. The main difference with Pradaxa and other medications is the ability to reverse such side effects with antidotes.

Potentially deadly opioid pain medications have naloxone to reverse overdoses, cardiovascular medication warfarin has Vitamin K to stop often-deadly untreated internal bleeding, and even Pradaxa has an antidote to stop harmful side effects. The problem with Xarelto is it doesn’t have an antidote to reverse cases of excessive internal bleeding.

Timeline of warnings

Another reason Xarelto’s manufacturers and producers are on the receiving end of Xarelto litigation is because they failed to inform doctors, pharmacies, and patients of Xarelto’s bleeding risks. It’s alleged that they were aware of possible negative outcomes, another reason they’re being sued by thousands of consumers. In 2013, two years after the cardiovascular drug hit United States markets, a warning on Xarelto’s packaging and drug information was added to warn consumers who actually read them of bleeding risks. The following year, prescribers and healthcare professionals were formally warned of bleeding risks exacerbated and caused by Xarelto. Later that year, the drug’s packaging indicated that those with prosthetic heart valves should not use rivaroxaban. In 2016, its manufacturers warned that SSRIs and SNRIs, drugs commonly used for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, could increase the chance of internal bleeding instances.

Final thoughts

Although Xarelto has positive effects on most people who use it to stave off cardiovascular events, the drug unarguably has deadly potential. Anyone considering taking cardiovascular medications should thoroughly research drugs other than Xarelto to better meet their needs.

Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC
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