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California Man Alleges Xarelto Caused Fatal Bleeding in His Mother

Sep 22, 2016

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is facing another new lawsuit over its anticoagulant drug Xarelto. A lawsuit filed on behalf of a California man alleges that the blood thinner caused his mother to suffer an uncontrollable, fatal brain bleed. Xarelto was approved in 2011. It is used to prevent blood clots in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery, as well as patients with atrial fibrillation.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff's mother began taking Xarelto around Sept. 2, 2014. On Sept. 11, 2014 she suffered an intracranial hemorrhage. She died of uncontrollable bleeding several days later, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges that the drug makers failed to warn about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding with Xarelto. The plaintiff alleges that his mother would not have agreed to take the drug if Janssen had adequately informed her and her physician about these risks.

Xarelto is part of a line of new generation anticoagulants. Prior to their release, warfarin was the anticoagulant of choice in patients with atrial fibrillation. Warfarin has been on the market for decades, but it requires regular blood testing and dietary restrictions. Xarelto and other new blood thinners do not have these restrictions, but critics point out that there is no antidote to reverse the bleeding if it starts. Patients taking warfarin can be given vitamin K to reverse the drug's effects.

Plaintiffs in the Xarelto litigation have alleged injuries such as gastrointestinal bleeding (GI bleeding), brain hemorrhaging, hemorrhaging, bloody stool and hermarthrosis (bleeding into joint spaces).

A multidistrict litigation has been established for Xarelto lawsuits in the Eastern District of Louisiana before Judge Eldon Fallon. The MDL contains 7,000 lawsuits so far, and the first trial is scheduled for February 2017. Additionally, a mass tort program has been established for Xarelto lawsuits in Philadelphia. Some 950 lawsuits are filed into the mass tort.

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