Two new blood thinners, Pradaxa and Xarelto been heralded as the first replacements in 60 years for Warfarin, a pill whose risks have steered many from using the stroke-prevention medicine. However, there have been many complaints about these new drugs, leading top heart doctors hesitant to prescribe them.
Pradaxa is a blood thinner by Boehringer Ingelheim that was approved by the FDA in October 2010 for patients who have atrial fibriliation, to prevent strokes. This drug is the first new drug introduced for this purpose since Warfarin was approved in the 50s. However, Pradaxa has been killing patients. Pradaxa interacts dangerously with other drugs, including common painkillers, changing the level of Pradaxa in the blood.
Xarelto, created by Johnson & Johnson with Bayer AG was approved in November 2011 by the FDA for atrial fibrillation. Doctors are less familiar with Xarelto than Pradaxa because less data on usage is available. Patients prescribed Pradaxa and Xarelto are not required to have frequent blood monitoring or regular Doctor follow-up. Unlike Warfarin patients who need to be closely monitored, must have regular blood tests, and must change their diet.
There were 542 reports of death associated with Pradaxa in 2011. There were 72 deaths associated with Warfarin. No adverse event report was available on Xarelto as the drug was approved in November 2011. Neither Pradaxa nor Xarelto have a known antidote if there is a bleeding emergency. Vitamin K works to stop bleeds started by Warfarin use.
Source – Foxnews.com