Dangerous Drugs & Devices

What Is Xarelto?

Xarelto is an anticoagulant, or blood thinner, sold by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. The drug was initially approved to prevent stroke and reduce the risk of blood clots in patients who were having knee or hip replacement surgery. Shortly after, Xarelto was also approved for general treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. For decades, doctors have prescribed and adjusted anticoagulant dosages based on each patient’s specific health situation and monitoring the blood’s reaction to the prescribed medication. Xarelto allows doctors to prescribe one dosage amount that supposedly works for everyone and does not require blood monitoring. But without the blood monitoring, doctors often are not able to diagnose uncontrolled bleeding until it’s too late.

For more than 50 years, Warfarin was the standard anticoagulant. Warfarin not only has less risk of bleeding but also, importantly, has an antidote to counteract the effects in case of emergency, such as a car accident. Xarelto does not have an antidote and cannot be flushed out of the body. If a patient experiences bleeding while on Xarelto, there is little that can be done to stop it immediately. In many cases the uncontrollable bleeding is fatal.

What Are The Potential Injuries?

Xarelto is intended to thin the blood and prevent clotting but can cause severe, uncontrolled bleeding. The bleeding can interrupt the function of major organs and, in some instances, blood pools inside the body. With no way reverse the effects, many patients die.

Xarelto has numerous other reported side effects but some of the most dangerous, and potentially fatal, include:

  • Abnormal liver function
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Reduced platelet levels
  • Internal or rectal bleeding
  • Post-surgerical wound infections and leakage

There is also evidence that Xarelto may actually cause some patients to have a higher risk of serious blood clots.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a caution and refused to approve Xarelto for other uses but has not yet issued a mandatory recall.

What Is The Legal Status?

Because of the nature of Xarelto’s side effects, many of the lawsuits will be filed for wrongful death. The lawsuits will take the approach that neither patients nor doctors were advised of the high level of risk associated with the drug, and that many patients did not understand that there was no antidote.

Since this mass tort lawsuit includes thousands of individual cases in many different districts around the country, a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has been created to standardize the process of resolving the common legal and factual questions.

If you or a loved one has experienced the negative effects of Xarelto, contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.