A Louisiana man has filed a lawsuit alleging Eliquis, an anticoagulant developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, caused internal bleeding and subsequent partial blindness. The lawsuit alleges that the drug makers knew Eliquis presented a risk of uncontrollable bleeding but failed to warn patients or the medical community.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff began taking Eliquis in June 2013 to reduce the risk of blood clot and related injuries, such as heart attack and stroke, associated with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a type of abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of blood clots. The plaintiff alleges that neither he nor his physician knew about the risk of irreversible bleeding with the drug. He alleges that he took the drug as directed until April 2016.
The plaintiff suffered internal eye bleeding, allegedly due to Eliquis side effects, in August 2015. He alleges that these problems persisted for several months. Although he was able to get treated for the internal bleeding, he is now partially blind in his right eye. The plaintiff alleges that Eloquis side effects continue to cause chronic pain.
Eliquis is part of a new generation of anticoagulants, alongside drugs such as Pradaxa and Xarelto. These medications were released in an effort to compete with warfarin, a decades-old blood thinner. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Eliquis in 2012.
Anticoagulants are prescribed to patients who are at risk of a life-threatening blood clot. These medications work by inhibiting the blood’s ability to clot, but the caveat is that blood may not clot as easily when necessary, such as when internal bleeding occurs. Plaintiffs in the litigation point out that with warfarin, there is an antidote to reverse the drug’s effects if bleeding occurs. However, no such antidote exists for Eliqis. The lawsuits allege that the drug makers were aware of this drawback, but failed to warn patients or their physicians.
The plaintiff alleges that he never would have taken Eliquis if drug makers adequately disclosed the risks to him and his physician. His lawsuit seeks damages for multiple counts of negligence and failure to warn.