An Alabama man was prescribed the anticoagulant Xarelto to treat his pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), but in a lawsuit the man claims the drug caused him to develop potentially fatal internal bleeding. Bayer HealthCare and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the manufacturers of the medication, are facing a growing multidistrict litigation (MDL) as Xarelto lawsuits continue to increase in number.
The plaintiff had used the drug as prescribed, for its intended purpose only, had taken the medication according to prescription instructions, and followed medical advice. According to his Xarelto gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit, he had only been taking the medication between April 2, 2016 and April 13, 2016.
Plaintiff’s Bleeding Complications
Despite following all instructions for use of Xarelto, the plaintiff reportedly suffered a number of internal bleeding complications including gastrointestinal bleeding, secondary gastrointestinal bleeding, acute anemia, and melena. Melena is the passage of dark, tarry stools containing decomposing blood that is typically an indication of bleeding in the upper part of the digestive tract.
The plaintiff had to undergo a number of blood transfusions and prolonged hospitalization due to these complications. The plaintiff’s doctor immediately stopped his Xarelto prescription and the plaintiff decided to file the Xarelto gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit against the pharmaceutical giants after he found out other patients had suffered severe internal bleeding injuries.
National law firm Parker Waichman has extensive and successful experience representing clients in pharmaceutical litigation. Attorneys at the firm are available to answer any questions for individuals seeking information about filing a potential lawsuit.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto in 2011. It was made available to patients as a joint effort between Bayer HealthCare and J&J to come into the established anticoagulant market. The approval of Xarelto came one year after Pradaxa, the first medication to be released since warfarin (brand name Coumadin) over 60 years ago. Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, and other more recently released blood thinners, are called the new generation anticoagulants.
The new generation blood thinners became popular rapidly as the tried and true warfarin requires regular monitoring and dietary restrictions, so the newer drugs were more convenient. However, plaintiffs remark that warfarin has a reversal agent to stop excessive bleeding, while, at this point, the newer blood thinners, other than Pradaxa, do not have a reversal agent to stop bleeding. Lawsuits allege that Xarelto manufacturers promoted the benefits of the drug while neglecting to warn about the lack of an antidote.
Praxbind was released in 2015 as Pradaxa’s bleeding antidote, five years after Pradaxa was approved and brought to market.
How Anticoagulants Work
Most often, Xarelto is prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of a blood clot), for stroke prevention, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and other blood clot risks. Xarelto is also used to prevent blood clots in patients undergoing a hip or knee replacement surgery.
Anticoagulants, including Xarelto, work by impairing the blood’s ability to clot. This is necessary to prevent serious, potentially fatal complications in some patients. However, there are situations where physicians may need to counteract the drug’s blood thinning effects, such as during an uncontrollable brain or GI (gastrointestinal) bleed, or emergency surgery in case of an accident. However, this also prevents the body from recovering from internal bleeding injuries which could result in fatalities.
Failure to Disclose Potential Risks
At the time of Xarelto’s release, Pradaxa was dealing with intense criticism for internal bleeding issues. Patients maintain that J&J and Bayer were absolutely aware of potential problems and they knew or should have known about the potential Xarelto internal bleeding issues.
Purpose of MDL
The Alabama man’s Xarelto gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit is joining an MDL where it will stand with other claims alleging similar complaints. By joining the MDL, the Xarelto gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit will be streamlined through the court process consolidating cases and proceeding in one court before one judge. This lowers court costs, avoids duplicate evidence, allows a faster outcome, and is typically more efficient.
In this case, the plaintiff is seeking compensation for medical costs and is alleging multiple counts of negligence and failure to warn. The trial will take place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiff says he would never have used Xarelto if he had been aware of the risks of potentially fatal Xarelto internal bleeding occurrences.
Legal Help for Xarelto Users
If you or someone you know suffered adverse side effects, such as uncontrollable bleeding due to the use of Xarelto, you may have valuable legal rights. The attorneys at Parker Waichman offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, contact our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).