If one were to watch or read an advertisement for Xarelto, one would likely think it perfectly safe to use for various medical applications. These would include:
- Blood thinning, including clotting prevention
- Stroke prevention
- Systemic and pulmonary embolism prevention
- Deep vein thrombosis prevention
Xarelto is manufactured by Jenssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and Bayer Health.
Yet, the drug’s primary use is for blood thinning, and there are still many issues associated with this function. Blood thinners make it difficult for the body to clot in the event of a large wound, so one would, if using a blood thinner, continue to bleed until they ran out of blood.
Competitors, such as Warfarin, remedy this potentially fatal flaw by recommending the administering of vitamin K to the effected patient. However, there are no antidotes like this for Xarelto. This means that if a user suffers an injury where they would lose a great deal of blood, they have an increased likelihood of death.
Ironically, Xarelto launched a massive marketing campaign where it stated that it was a superior alternative to Warfarin and other well-known anticoagulants.
Apart from this gruesome error, Xarelto has been linked to the following potentially deadly side effects:
- GI tract bleeding
Most other blood thinners require that the user take periodic blood tests to make sure that the drug is working like it should be. This is not the case with Xarelto, which is contributing factor to the abundance of the aforementioned effects.
The FDA was alerted to this very important fault. Since then, Xarelto’s producers have added warnings regarding these deadly potential side effects and its issues with thinning blood, but there remains concern that the manufacturers have failed to do any additional testing and have continued advertising the drug.
Many lawsuits versus Jenssen and Bayer are already under way. There are approximately 18,000 lawsuits pending in federal and state courts around the country. Two of these cases, Walsh v. Janssen Research & Development LLC et al and Roman v. Janssen Research & Development LLC et al., have both been won in the manufacturers’ favor in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. Both suits contended that Bayer and Jenssen hid their knowledge of the blood thinning issues due to a lack of clinical trials. Both Walsh and Roman claim that they suffered “life-threatening” bleeding as a result of taking Xarelto.
Another, similar drug, Pradaxa, is facing similar scrutiny for similar reasons, such as their marketing campaign stating Pradaxa is better than its competitors. Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer, has already paid out $650 million in settlements.
Litigation is fully expected to continue against these “newer” anticoagulants.