Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer have long insisted their blood-thinning drug Xarelto is a safer, more reliable alternative to the decades-old warfarin. However, a new study recently published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation suggests the popular “new-age” anticoagulant may be no safer than warfarin in terms of bleeding in elderly patients.
Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011 for use in patients who have undergone certain surgeries or have irregular heartbeats. Over the past four years, Xarelto has grown to be the best selling new oral anticoagulant, or NOAC. According to the drug’s official website, Xarelto has been prescribed to over 11 million patients in the United States.
But as Xarelto users are now finding out, new-age does not necessarily mean new benefits. Indeed, plaintiffs in Xarelto lawsuits claim Janssen and Bayer’s blood thinner can cause the same severe bleeding as warfarin, but with one important difference—there is currently no antidote to reverse bleeding caused by Xarelto. Warfarin, on the other hand, can be counteracted with doses of vitamin K. Xarelto lawsuits allege that Xarelto’s manufacturers purposely concealed information about the bleeding risks of their drug, putting profits before patient safety.
The new study, carried out by France’s National Health Insurance Strategy and Research Department, evaluated data from three groups of patients: 19,713 warfarin users; 8,433 Pradaxa users; and 4,651 Xarelto users. Anticoagulants were administered to treat patients’ nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (in other words, to prevent stroke). The researchers found no variation in the rates of bleeding across patient groups during the first 90 days of treatment.
Xarelto’s lack of clear advantages over warfarin, coupled with the absence of a reliable reversal agent, has led many patients to file Xarelto lawsuits. Earlier this year, over 100 of these Xarelto lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in Louisiana, despite fierce opposition from Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. At least 100 more Xarelto lawsuits have since been entered into the multidistrict litigation.
Speak to your doctor about any health risks your medications may pose. If you or a loved one experienced severe bleeding after using Xarelto, contact Lopez McHugh today for a free consultation with one of our experienced Xarelto attorneys.