Attorney for Injuries and Deaths Caused by Taking Xarelto
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is a prescription blood-thinning medication designed to prevent the formation of blood clots, which can increase the risk of stroke and other serious conditions. However, Xarelto can also have dangerous and potentially lethal side effects. Xarelto has been shown to cause uncontrollable internal bleeding and hemorrhaging, which usually cannot be cured without emergency dialysis. Sadly, even with dialysis treatment, the risk of death from Xarelto-related bleeding is high.
As of 2018, approximately 25,000 lawsuits have already been filed against Johnson & Johnson, Bayer Healthcare, and other companies involved in the marketing or manufacturing of Xarelto. If you suffered an injury or developed complications after taking Xarelto, or if you lost a family member to fatal bleeding caused by Xarelto, The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked can help. Prosper Shaked is an aggressive Xarelto lawsuit lawyer, and is dedicated to helping injured patients fight for the justice and compensation they deserve. For a free legal consultation about filing a Xarelto injury claim, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked online, or call (305) 690-0244 today.
What is Xarelto Used For?
Xarelto is the brand name for a popular blood-thinner drug sold by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is part of Johnson & Johnson. The purpose of Xarelto, which contains the active ingredient rivaroxaban in 10 mg, 15 mg, or 20 mg doses, is to lower the risk of having a stroke. Xarelto may also be prescribed to reduce the risk of other conditions, such as pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Xarelto can reduce the risk that the patient will form blood clots, which are risk factors for PE, DVT, and strokes. When a blood clot develops inside one of the leg veins, it is called DVT. Not only is DVT unpleasant, often causing pain and swelling in the affected leg – more seriously, it can also be life-threatening. If the clot loosens from the leg vein, it can travel into the lungs, blocking off normal blood flow and causing PE, which can be fatal. If a blood clot develops in the brain, it can cause an ischemic stroke. The World Heart Federation reports that most strokes are caused this way: approximately 80%, as compared to the 20% which are caused by aneurysms and burst arteries.
How Dangerous is Xarelto?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is that Xarelto can be extremely dangerous for patients, with potential for fatal side effects such as severe internal bleeding. What makes Xarelto-related bleeding especially dangerous is that it typically cannot be halted or reversed. The chance of survival improves with prompt dialysis, but even then, there is no guarantee of recovery.
Xarelto Risks and Side Effects
Some patients are at higher risk for experiencing complications while taking Xarelto. For example, you may be at heightened risk of bleeding or other adverse events if you have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), or high blood pressure in your lungs. A history of liver, kidney, or bleeding-related problems is also a serious risk for dangerous or deadly complications.
Fatal hemorrhaging is an extremely serious concern for Xarelto patients. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any of these symptoms or side effects, which could be warnings signs of internal bleeding caused by Xarelto:
- Bleeding from the gums
- Coughing up blood
- Discolored urine
- Discolored or tarry stool
- Dizziness or weakness
- Unusually heavy menstrual bleeding
- Vomit that resembles coffee grounds
While fatal bleeding is the greatest health risk associated with Xarelto, this medication can also have other harmful effects. Xarelto may also cause other serious injuries and complications, such as:
- Dyspnea (irregular respiration), which may feel like rapid or difficult breathing, potentially accompanied by a sensation of tightness in the chest
- Infections, typically among knee surgery or hip surgery patients
- Lowered levels of hemoglobin (proteins that carry oxygen), which is associated with anemia, a condition in which the patient has too few healthy blood cells
These conditions are discussed in greater detail below. If you suffered these or other complications while using Xarelto, continue reading to learn more about their warning signs, symptoms, treatments, and effects.
Deaths and Injuries Caused by Xarelto
Despite its status as a best-selling drug, Xarelto has been linked to tens of thousands of adverse events. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the federal agency responsible for reviewing and approving new medications in the United States – received more than 15,000 complaints concerning Xarelto-related deaths or injuries during 2016 alone. That means during a single year, the FDA received an average of approximately 40 Xarelto reports per day. Furthermore, that figure represents a 41% rise from the previous year, which means Xarelto-related fatalities and injuries increased over time.
Xarelto may be responsible for causing the deaths of more than 3,000 people during 2016 alone, according to the ISMP. Distributed across the year, that figure represents more than eight Xarelto-related deaths per day on average. Patient deaths accounted for 3,018 of the 15,043 adverse events reported to the FDA in 2016, meaning approximately one in five (20%) of the Xarelto-related adverse events in 2016 were fatal.
Xarelto has been linked to dyspnea, which has symptoms such as shortness of breath, struggling to breathe, feeling suffocated, coughing, wheezing, and experiencing heart palpitations (irregular heartbeat). One 2015 study published in Respiratory Medicine Case Reports profiled a 64-year-old male who “died as a result of anticoagulation therapy; specifically, the use of Xarelto (rivaroxaban).” The study found that the patient “had severe dyspnea on minimal exertion,” adding, “In fact, in the course of one month, he progressed from being ambulatory and independent to being oxygen-dependent and requiring complete care. He continued his prescription of 20 mg of Xarelto at home.”
Xarelto is associated with a heightened risk of infection in surgery patients, who are sometimes prescribed Xarelto to reduce the chance of developing blood clots. According to one 2016 study published in the Journal of Arthroplasty, which examined the adverse effects of Xarelto’s active ingredient rivaroxaban, “The use of rivaroxaban… led to a significantly increased incidence of deep SSI [surgical site infections] in a continuous series of patients… in a single [hospital].” The warning signs and symptoms of infection after surgery include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Drainage, pus, or other fluids leaking from the wound area
- Fever, which may be accompanied by chills
- Foul or new odors coming from the wound area
- New, severe, or unusual pain or sensitivity in the wound area
- The wound area feeling warm to the touch
- The wound area looking swollen or discolored
Xarelto Low Hemoglobin and Anemia
Anemia is a condition that can be caused by excessive blood loss. It can also be caused by inadequate iron, known as an iron deficiency. When someone has abnormally low levels of iron, the body makes fewer red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Xarelto has been linked to decreased levels of hemoglobin, a protein contained inside red blood cells. Xarelto lawsuits have alleged that patients suffered anemia related to iron deficiency, internal bleeding, and blood loss. Warning signs and symptoms of anemia may include the following:
- Experiencing headaches
- Experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing normally, even without physical exertion
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or dizzy
- Having thin, brittle nails
- Having pale or clammy skin
- Rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations
If you notice any of the symptoms associated with anemia, surgical infections, dyspnea, or internal bleeding, you should seek medical care right away.
Filing a Xarelto Lawsuit
When numerous people suffer injuries due to using the same product, such as a prescription drug, they sometimes join their cases together into what is called a “class action.” As of September 2018, there are currently no Xarelto class action lawsuits pending. Instead, many of the plaintiffs who have filed Xarelto injury claims engaged in multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is sometimes used to handle particularly complex civil (non-criminal) federal cases. Other plaintiffs have chosen to file lawsuits individually, using their own personal injury lawyers.
As of mid-2018, approximately 25,000 Xarelto lawsuits have already been filed, with more expected to come in the future as patients continue using the drug. If you or one of your family members has been affected, you should discuss your family’s legal options with a knowledgeable and experienced Xarelto injury attorney right away. You may have a right to be compensated for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and other damages related to Xarelto use.
At The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked, we are dedicated to the aggressive and relentless pursuit of justice on behalf of the clients we serve. If you or a loved one experienced a Xarelto bleed or suffered other harm because of Xarelto, attorney Prosper Shaked is ready to fight on your behalf. To set up a free consultation with an experienced Xarelto injury lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked online, or call today at (305) 690-0244.