Xarelto is a blood-thinning drug, or anticoagulant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto in July 2011, and its sales have steadily grown since then. Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufacture Xarelto in the United States, while Bayer AG markets the drug in Europe.
Xarelto is part of a wave of new blood thinning drugs that hit the market in recent years. These drugs were designed as an alternative to Warfarin, an established blood-thinning drug that has been in use since the 1950s. One of Xarelto's direct competitors is Pradaxa, another new blood-thinner manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim. Xarelto, Pradaxa, and similar drugs have become the subject of growing controversy and a rising number of lawsuits.
Xarelto was initially approved for patients recovering from knee and hip replacement surgery. These recoveries involve a risk of developing blood clots in the legs, known as deep vein thrombosis. Since then, Xarelto's approved uses have grown. Patients with an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) take Xarelto to reduce their risk of stroke. Patients who develop blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) can also be treated with Xarelto. Doctors may prescribe it for other uses as well.
Taking blood-thinners such as Xarelto can cause trouble on two fronts. On the one side, most patients who take blood thinners do so because they need them. These patients may face an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis. Most patients taking drugs like Xarelto are already susceptible to these serious health problems.
On the other side, blood-thinning medication leads to an increased risk of bleeding related injuries. The most commonly reported ones are gastrointestinal bleeding and severe hemorrhaging. Complications can also arise during surgery or following an accident that results in serious bleeding. Patients thus risk suffering from the underlying condition that caused them to take blood-thinners and from the medication itself.
This risk has become a reality for too many patients. The most commonly reported injuries are pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis. Strokes and heart attacks follow close behind. Other frequently reported injuries include gastrointestinal bleeding, severe hemorrhaging, and other bleeding problems. Estimates are that thousands of patients have been hospitalized and that hundreds of patients have died.
Xarelto's troubles have not escaped the attention of government regulators. Two FDA "boxed warnings" (commonly called "black box" warnings) are prominently featured on the drug's label. One warns that stopping Xarelto early increases the risk of developing blood clots. The other warns that Xarelto can contribute to serious head and spinal injuries (epidural and spinal hematoma) in some patients. Other warnings highlight the risk of bleeding related injuries and the danger Xarelto poses to patients with prosthetic heart valves.
Xarelto Lawsuit Information
Many patients who suffered bleeding-related injuries, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and heart attacks have sued. Most of these lawsuits are product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The manufacturers of other, similar blood-thinning drugs face similar lawsuits. Thousands have filed Pradaxa lawsuits against Boehringer Ingelheim. These lawsuits are quite similar and more numerous, and may provide an early glimpse of the future of Xarelto lawsuits.
While people file lawsuits for many reasons, the most prominent reason is to recover financial compensation for a patient's injuries. Xarelto injuries can require lengthy hospitalization, significant long-term health care costs, and substantial time away from work. Product liability lawsuits exist in large part to shift the burden of these costs to manufacturers. For many families, filing a Xarelto lawsuit can be the difference between financial hardship and making ends meet.
Unfortunately, hundreds of Xarelto patients have died. When someone dies through the fault of another, his or her surviving family members can often file a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit can recover compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, lost support, lost companionship, and other damages. No lawsuit can replace the loss of a loved one. But they can help surviving spouses and children avoid financial difficulties.
Get Legal Help with Your Xarelto Claim Today
While a successful Xarelto lawsuit can provide patients and their loved ones with financial compensation, navigating the legal intricacies can be a difficult task. Patients who are injured from taking Xarelto can discuss their situation with a local drugs and medical devices attorney to learn about their legal options.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.