Xarelto is a prescription medicine that is used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, which is not caused by a heart valve problem. It is marketed by Bayer HealthCare’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit.
Because it is an anticoagulant, Xarelto can cause bleeding that is difficult to control. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that discontinuation of Xarelto increases the risk of blood clots and bleeding around the spinal cord. Either of these events can lead to significant injury, including paralysis or death.
Techmeier Law Firm is now reviewing claims of those who believe they have been injured by the anticoagulant medication Xarelto (rivaroxaban). Please call us or contact our Milwaukee office online today to learn more and receive a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What is Xarelto?
People with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart beat) are at an increased risk of forming a blood clot, which can lead to a stroke. Xarelto, an anticoagulant, lowers the potential of a stroke by helping to prevent clots from forming.
Xarelto is used to treat deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the legs) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) and to help reduce the risk of these conditions from occurring again. Patients who have recently had knee or hip replacement surgery may be prescribed Xarelto.
The FDA has issued its most severe label warning about Xarelto and the danger it presents for spinal bleeds, which are known as epidural or spinal hematomas. Hematomas are pools of blood that occur outside of blood vessels. Blood pooling in the spine can cause pressure on the spinal cord or spinal cord damage and lead to permanent paralysis.
People are at greater risk if they:
- Use epidural catheters
- Use other drugs that can affect the clotting process such as NSAIDs or platelet inhibitors
- Have a history of spinal trauma
- Have a history of spinal surgery.
The FDA warning also cautions against any spinal procedures in patients who take Xarelto.
How Does Xarelto Cause Bleeding?
According to the FDA, hemorrhaging, or bleeding, is one of the most common side effects of taking Xarelto. Xarelto works by blocking specific proteins in the blood that normally start the clotting process.
If a patient discontinues use of Xarelto, it can take as long as 24 hours for the drug to be flushed out of the system. Older adults have a more difficult time flushing the drug. Its anticoagulation effect lasts longer in their bodies.
Because there is no antidote, doctors have no way of immediately stopping the bleeding in a Xarelto patient. For example, for a patient who takes the anticoagulant warfarin, a vitamin K antidote is used to control bleeding. With Xarelto, bleeding can quickly become a life-threatening situation.
Xarelto can cause many types of hemorrhaging, including:
- Intestinal or abdominal bleeds
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Bleeding in the brain.
Other severe health conditions associated with the use of Xarelto include:
- Decreased hemoglobin (a substance that carries oxygen in red blood cells)
- Cerebrovascular accidents (an event that leads to a stroke such as a cerebral hemorrhage)
- Hematoma (a semi-solid mass in the blood)
- Peripheral edema (swelling of the lower limbs)
- Dyspnea (difficulty breathing).
Contact a Wisconsin Xarelto Spinal Bleeding Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe adverse reaction after taking Xarelto as prescribed by your doctor, Techmeier Law Firm wants to help you. We have earned a reputation for taking up the cause of consumers in Wisconsin and succeeding in obtaining justice for them. We are ready to put our skill, experience and resources to work for you and your family. Contact us today and receive a free evaluation of your case.
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