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Class Action Lawsuit: Eliquis (apixaban) has Risk of Uncontrollable Bleeding, Hemorrhaging

Melanie H. Muhlstock
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  • Class Action Lawsuit: Eliquis (apixaban) has Risk of Uncontrollable Bleeding, Hemorrhaging

    Our firm is investigation potential class action lawsuits on behalf of individuals who suffered a bleeding event after taking the blood thinner Eliquis (apixaban), which is jointly marketed by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Eliquis is part of a new generation of anticoagulants that also includes Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Bayer’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban). These anti-clotting medications all have a similar, potentially fatal issue; they are associated with a risk of uncontrollable bleeding.

    Given the mounting lawsuits that have been brought against the makers of Xarelto and Pradaxa, the lawyers at Parker Waichman have reason to believe that individuals who allegedly suffered Eliquis bleeding injuries may have important legal rights. If you or someone you know suffered from uncontrollable hemorrhaging or other related injuries after taking Eliquis, we urge you to contact Parker Waichman LLP today.

    Eliquis has Risk of Uncontrollable Bleeding, Hemorrhaging Eliquis has Risk of Uncontrollable Bleeding, Hemorrhaging Parker | Waichman YouTube Videos

    Eliquis Makers Face Litigation over Fatal Bleeding

    Xarelto and Pradaxa have been the focus of lawsuits that involve allegations that the medications are dangerous and defective. Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of Pradaxa has settled thousands of lawsuits; however, Bayer, the maker of Xarelto continues to face hundreds of cases brought by victims and survivors of Xarelto-related injuries.

    Xarelto lawsuits allege that the manufacturer failed to sufficiently warn patients and physicians that there is no reversal agent to stop the blood thinning and bleeding effects of the drug. Plaintiffs allege that, because no Xarelto bleeding reversal agent exists, doctors are unable to treat patients who had taken Xarelto and who suffered uncontrollable bleeds that led serious or fatal complications.

    The makers of Eliquis are now facing similar lawsuits. For example, in July 2015, a woman filed a lawsuit in New York Federal Court against Pfizer Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. alleging that Eliquis was to blame for her husband's death. The man had been taking the blood thinner for three months for an irregular heartbeat when he suffered from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage and died. The lawsuit alleges that Bayer failed to warn about the increased risk of bleeding or that it could lead to fatal bleeding events in patients taking Eliquis.

    The lawsuit also alleges that Pfizer and BMS failed to disclose that, unlike the blood thinner, warfarin, the effects of which can be reversed with common treatments, including vitamin K, there is no reversal agent to stop Eliquis bleeding. The companies allegedly overstated the benefits of stroke and embolism prevention while failing to properly warn doctors and patients about the life-threatening risks. The lawsuit further alleges that the drug makers covered up serious flaws in the clinical trial used to gain approval for Eliquis, including the omission of side effects, failing to report a death, failing to follow-up with participants, and falsifying data.

    Pfizer and BMS are being sued for negligence, strict products liability, breach of express and implied warranties, fraud, violations of consumer protection statutes, and wrongful death claims.

    Eliquis Aggressively Marketed, Despite Irreversible Bleeding Problems

    Eliquis was approved in 2012 for stroke prevention, for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, and to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients who are undergoing hip or knee replacement. The drug was the third drug in a new class of anticoagulants called direct thrombin inhibitors, joining Pradaxa and Xarelto.

    Drug makers have aggressively marketed Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Xarelto in recent years, mostly by claiming their superiority to warfarin. Warfarin has been used as an anticoagulant treatment for decades, but treatment with warfarin requires users to undergo routine, ongoing blood monitoring. Eliquis and other new generation blood thinners do not require routine monitoring; however, these medications carry a serious and potentially fatal risk: uncontrollable bleeding.

    While there is some risk of bleeding with all blood thinners, when a bleed is a result of treatment with warfarin, the bleeding may be reversed with vitamin K treatment and fresh frozen plasma. No reversal agent exists for bleeding events resulting from treatment with Eliquis, Pradaxa, or Xarelto, leaving physicians with no treatment option should patients hemorrhage. Yet, despite this known risk, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer continue to push Eliquis and have even expanded its indications. In 2014, Eliquis was approved for the prevention and treatment of clot-related problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.

    While Bristol-Myers Squibb has not disclosed its advertising budget for Eliquis specifically, company officials revealed in a 2014 conference call that the drug was a major focal point of new direct-to-consumer advertising. The drug maker also indicated that a 9 percent increase in funds was ear-marked for Eliquis marketing. For the fourth quarter of 2014, Bristol-Myers Squibb reported an advertising budget of $254 million.

    The aggressive marketing campaign was introduced in response to Eliquis sales at the time. Investors initially expected that the drug would garner $3 billion per year, but in the two years after Eliquis was introduced, sales were far below even $1 billion, which is considered the mark of a blockbuster drug. Nevertheless, Eliquis revenue jumped from $12 million in the second quarter of 2013 to $171 million the following year.

    In 2014, a study published in Medical Care reviewed the impact of direct-to-consumer ads. Researchers found that this type of marketing disproportionately affected doctors’ decisions and led to unnecessary prescriptions.

    It also appears that, when compared to other new anticoagulants, less information is available on how to stop Eliquis-related bleeding events. A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery highlighted this extreme lack of knowledge indicating, "To date, there are no human studies of reversal agents in patients who require rapid (Eliquis) reversal."

    Eliquis Injuries

    The most serious Eliquis complication is uncontrolled bleeding. Patients taking Eliquis may bruise or bleed more easily and the drug has been associated with:

    • Cerebral hemorrhage
    • Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding
    • Kidney bleeding
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Death

    Dark or tarry stools are a potential warning symptom of a digestive tract bleed and should be immediately discussed with your doctor. Likewise, vomiting blood or a substance that resembles coffee grounds may be a symptom of bleeding in the stomach and should be discussed with your doctor.

    Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing teeth; nosebleeds; pink, red, or brown urine should be discussed with your doctor. A serious headache or dizziness should also be discussed immediately as these could be potential signs of bleeding in the brain.

    Joint swelling or joint pain may indicate bleeding in that area. A skin rash may indicate a serious allergic reaction to the drug; swelling of tongue or face or trouble breathing may require emergency treatment.

    Parker | Waichman Logo Legal Help for Victims who Suffered Injuries after Taking Eliquis
    If you or someone you know took Eliquis and suffered a bleeding event or other complications, you may have valuable legal rights. Contact one of our experienced drug injury attorneys today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case by filling out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.

    More on Eliquis


    Pradaxa Bleeding Side Effects

    Pradaxa Side Effects

    Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Blood Clot Side Effects May Lead to Personal Injury Lawsuits

    Xarelto (Rivaroxaban)

     Pradaxa Bleeding Following Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

    Pradaxa/Atrial Fibrillation




    Class Action Lawsuit: Eliquis (apixaban) has Risk of Uncontrollable Bleeding, HemorrhagingRSS Feed

    Eliquis Led to Fatal Hemorrhaging, Lawsuit Alleges

    Aug 3, 2016
    A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb alleging that the blood thinner Eliquis (apixaban) is to blame for a Mississippi man's fatal injuries. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of his surviving spouse. The plaintiff's husband began taking Eliquis in June 2015 to treat his atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that places individuals at increased risk of blood clots and related injuries. The lawsuit alleges that the drug makers failed to warn about the...

    Blood Thinner Eliquis Tied to Louisana Woman's Death

    Jun 13, 2016
    A lawsuit has been filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer by the representative of the estate of a woman from Louisiana who died allegedly from the use of Eliquis. The blood thinner Eliquis (apixaban) is an anticoagulant meant to prevent blood clots and strokes, but can have serious side effects including brain bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding and severe pain, reports Top Class Actions. In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Eliquis as a blood thinner that may...

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