The blood-thinning drug Xarelto (generic: rivaroxaban) has recently been linked to reports of uncontrollable internal bleeding events. The problem with Xarelto is that it has no antidote or reversal agent once bleeding starts, whereas with older anticoagulants bleeding can be stopped with a dose of vitamin k.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you were injured by Xarelto, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Xarelto Bleeding Events
Xarelto is designed to work by preventing blood clots from developing. The drug blocks an enzyme called factor Xa. However, this same mechanism increases the risk of internal bleeding. And once Xarelto bleeding events start, they are difficult to stop.
Internal bleeding occurs when veins or arteries become damaged and blood is released from the circulatory system. Normally, damaged blood vessel walls secrete an enzyme that helps the blood to clot, which clogs the vessel, stops the bleeding, and allows the damage to heal.
Xarelto was compared to warfarin (a staple anticoagulant that’s been in use for over 50 years in the U.S.) in the ROCKET AF clinical trial, which involved more than 7,000 test subjects. ROCKET determined the following rates of internal bleeding:
- Major bleeding: Xarelto (5.6%) – Warfarin (5.4%)
- Bleeding in a critical organ: Xarelto (1.3%) – Warfarin (1.9%)
- Fatal bleeding: Xarelto (0.4%) – Warfarin (0.8%)
- Bleeding resulting in transfusion: Xarelto (2.6%) – Warfarin (2.1%)
- Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding: Xarelto (3.1%) – Warfarin (2%)
What’s the Problem with Xarelto?
When the FDA approved Xarelto in 2011, it quickly became a popular alternative to warfarin since it supposedly requires less intensive patient monitoring. However, what was not known at the time is that Xarelto has no antidote or reversal agent, whereas warfarin bleeding events can be counteracted with a single dose of vitamin k. Not even dialysis (mechanically cleaning the blood) can reverse the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto because it binds so tightly to proteins in the blood.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Wife of Xarelto Patient
In June 2014, the wife of a Xarelto user who bled to death filed a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer for failing to warn that it can cause uncontrollable internal bleeding. The lawsuit was filed in Florida by Nancy Packard, on behalf of her late husband, William N. Packard, Jr., who began using Xarelto in January of 2012.
After taking Xarelto for about six months, Mr. Packard developed bleeding in his brain and was rushed to a hospital. Unfortunately, doctors could not stop the bleeding, and Packard died on June 28, 2012. According to the lawsuit:
“Defendants failed to adequately warn about the lack of an antidote to reverse uncontrolled bleeding caused by Xarelto. Defendants merely indicated that there was a risk for bleeding and side-stepped the important issue of reversing the effects of Xarelto should a bleed occur. Other safer alternatives to Xarelto® have an antidote that can reverse uncontrolled bleeding.”
Do I Have a Xarelto Bleeding Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Xarelto Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by Xarelto side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.