Trasylol (Aprotinin injection)
Trasylol (Aprotinin injection) was a highly controversial blood-clotting medication. It was designed to work by inhibiting certain enzymes that increase the risk of bleeding. Doctors commonly used Trasylol to reduce patient bleeding and the need for blood transfusions during complex surgical procedures. However, numerous critical studies were published linking the drug with increased health risks and patient fatalities. Since 2007, Trasylol is no longer sold in the United States.
Trasylol Sales Suspended Worldwide
On November 5, 2007, manufacturer Bayer AG suspended the sale of Trasylol worldwide pending the results of a recent drug trial. A month earlier, a Canada-based drug study of cardiac surgery patients was halted because using Trasylol appeared to cause increased health risks compared with other blood-clotting drugs. Patients experienced higher rates of kidney failure, stroke, and heart attack.
High Risk of Kidney Failure, Stroke, and Heart Attack
Before Trasylol was removed from the market, the medical community debated its use in surgery and the alleged risks it posed to patients. A New England Journal of Medicine article from January 2006 reported a study that found patients taking Trasylol during coronary artery bypass surgery faced an increased risk of kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.
A second article, published in February 2008 after the sale of Trasylol was suspended, reported that patients who took Trasylol during coronary artery bypass surgery faced a higher mortality rate than patients who took other blood-clotting medications. Some sources have estimated that as many as 22,000 deaths can be attributed to the use of Trasylol. Many other studies have reached similar conclusions.
Serious Allergic Reaction
Anaphylactic reaction is a rare but serious allergic reaction that happens suddenly and can be life threatening. Patients who have had Trasylol in the past have a higher risk of anaphylactic reactions with a new dose of Trasylol.
Advice for Patients
If you are scheduled to have heart surgery, tell your healthcare professional if you:
- Have taken Trasylol in the past
- Have had heart surgery
- Are allergic to any medicines
- Have kidney disease
- Are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- Are taking other medicines. Keep a list of your medications to show your healthcare professional.
Getting Legal Help
While all drugs have side effects, a drug manufacturer has a number of legal duties to patients and consumers. A drug must be as reasonably safe as possible, and manufacturers must inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with its drug. If a manufacturer fails to meet these duties, it can be held legally responsible for patient injuries under a legal theory known as product liability.
If you or a loved one has experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions associated with Trasylol, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. You may also wish to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and to protect your right to a legal remedy for any injuries caused by Trasylol.