If you took one of these blood thinners, and you have since suffered an irreversible gastrointestinal hemorrhage or another serious side effect, contact a reputable blood thinner injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can protect your legal rights and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries and medical expenses.
What are Blood Thinners?
Blood thinners like Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Xarelto (rivaroxaban) are prescription medications designed to reduce the risk of stroke and dangerous blood clots in patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a medical condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat. Blood thinners work on chemical reactions in the body to lengthen the amount of time it takes to form a blood clot, which decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke by reducing the formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins. While some blood thinners, like warfarin, have an antidote that can be administered to reverse the blood-thinning effects of the drugs in the event of a bleeding complication., many new-generation blood thinners, like Eliquis and Xarelto, have no antidote.
Why are there Blood Thinner Lawsuits?
Product liability lawsuits brought against the makers of Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto and other new-generation blood thinners allege that the manufacturing companies designed, manufactured and marketed defective medications, failed to adequately warn users about the risks associated with their blood thinner drugs, and overstated the benefits of their medications, while downplaying their risks. As a result, former users of Eliquis, Pradaxa and Xarelto across the country are now pursuing legal claims against the makers of the widely-used blood thinners, seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and other economic damages.
Side Effects Linked to Blood Thinners
By thinning the blood, anticoagulant medications like Eliquis, Pradaxa and Xarelto can effectively reduce the risk of blood clots forming and traveling to the brain, which may cause a stroke, but they have also been linked to serious bleeding problems, often resulting in hospitalization or death. Some of the most common side effects of blood thinners include the following:
- Internal bleeding requiring hospitalization
- Cerebral hemorrhages
- Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding
- Rectal bleeding
- Kidney bleeding
Links to Blood Thinner Studies Alleging Side Effects
A number of studies published in recent years have highlighted the potential side effects of popular blood thinners like Eliquis, Pradaxa and Xarelto, including research published in the British Medical Journal in April 2015, which found that patients taking Xarelto to reduce their risk of stroke and blood clots faced double the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding complications, compared to patients taking warfarin. In another study published in the medical journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes in January 2016, researchers found that while Pradaxa and warfarin offered similar stroke-prevention efficacy in patients with atrial fibrillation, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding was higher for patients taking Pradaxa than for those taking warfarin.
When considering approval for the new-generation blood thinner Eliquis, the FDA relied heavily on a clinical trial conducted in China called ARISTOTLE, which compared the safety and effectiveness of the new-generation blood thinner to warfarin, an older medication that has been the go-to blood thinner in the United States for decades. It was only after Eliquis was approved in 2013, that it was discovered the ARISTOTLE clinical trial was heavily flawed, with reports accusing researchers of concealing Eliquis side effects from test results, losing participants, changing and falsifying records, and failing to report a study participant’s death.
Recent Blood Thinner News
In July 2015, the first Eliquis lawsuit was filed against Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, on behalf of Donald Herschell, a man who was prescribed Eliquis in 2014 to treat his irregular heartbeat. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleged that, among other things, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks associated with taking a blood thinner that doesn’t have an antidote. Just a few months after beginning treatment with Eliquis, Donald Herschell suffered an irreversible gastrointestinal hemorrhage and died in the hospital that same day.
Thousands of similar lawsuits have been brought against the makers of Pradaxa and Xarelto, two of the most widely-used blood thinners on the market, alleging that the prescription drugs increased the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening bleeding problems in users. In 2014, Pradaxa maker Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to pay $650 million to resolve more than 4,000 product liability lawsuits alleging gastrointestinal bleeding complications from Pradaxa, and that same year, more than 500 Xarelto lawsuits were consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings in the Eastern District of Louisiana, as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
How Do I Join the Blood Thinner Lawsuit?
According to the FDA, all blood thinners are known to increase the risk of bleeding, but new-generation blood thinners like Eliquis, Pradaxa and Xarelto have been linked to a higher-than-expected risk of internal bleeding, which is further complicated by the lack of an antidote. If you or a loved one has suffered severe gastrointestinal bleeding complications, and you believe a blood thinner like Eliquis, Pradaxa or Xarelto to be the cause, contact an experienced product liability lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.