Xarelto Background and Side Effects. On September 1, 2016, a plaintiff filed a suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Janssen Research & Development, LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), creators of the anticoagulant, Xarelto. The lawsuit states that the plaintiff was not sufficiently warned regarding alleged risks and potential side effects in Janssen’s promotion and marketing of Xarelto, reports the Madison-St. Clair Record.
According to the lawsuit filed by the man, Janssen, despite being warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of their “wrongdoing in their over-promotion of the drug, stating that their ads were false and misleading,” continued to be generous in their praise of Xarelto.
Xarelto is designed as an anticoagulant treatment for those individuals in need of a blood thinner due to various medical condition. One such condition is arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation (AFib), or irregular heartbeat. “Normally, one’s own pacemaker beats at rates between 60 and 100 beats per minute at rest. In contrast, during atrial fibrillation, the atria are being activated at rates in excess of 400 beats per minute in a chaotic electrical pattern, says Richard L. Page, MD, chair of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, reports WebMD. An irregular heartbeat can allow blood to be trapped in the upper chambers of the heart, which can cause blood clots to form. If a blood clot leaves the heart, it may migrate to the brain and cause a stroke.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is another concern for patients who are candidates for blood thinners. DVT is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside the body. DVT occurs most typically in people over 50 years of age. Certain conditions that change how blood moves through the veins can raise the risk of developing clots. These include: having an injury that damages the veins; being overweight, which puts added pressure on veins in the legs and pelvis; having a family history of DVT; having a catheter placed in a vein; taking birth control pills or undergoing hormone therapy; heavy smoking; staying seated for a long time while in a car or on a plane. Deep vein blood clots typically form in the thigh or lower leg, but may also develop in other areas of the body.
Xarelto is also used to prevent Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot may travel into an artery in the lungs. These blood clots most commonly come from the deep veins in the legs. PE can be life-threatening. Symptoms include unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain, or a cough that produces bloody sputum (phlegm).
Personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are actively reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been injured by defective drugs.
Contraindications for Xarelto and Other Newer Anticoagulants
Xarelto, along with Pradaxa and Eliquis, are in a group called the “second generation” of blood thinners. They were designed to compete with the established warfarin (Coumadin) which has been approved by the FDA and on the market over 60 years. Warfarin, however, require regular blood level monitoring as well as some dietary restrictions. The newer generation of blood thinners do not require the strict blood testing nor does a patient have to adhere to some specific diet requirements.
The newer blood thinners including Xarelto, quickly became popular due to the convenience and lack of restrictions. Unfortunately, the newer anticoagulants do not to date have an antidote available should an excessive bleeding event occur, which may become life-threatening. Warfarin, however, does have an antidote to reverse the anti-clotting ability of the drug in case of an uncontrollable bleeding episode.
Another serious side effect is brain hemorrhaging. A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke. It is caused by an artery in the brain bursting and causing localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. A brain hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms include a sudden severe headache, seizures with no previous history of seizures, weakness in an arm or leg, nausea or vomiting, lethargy, changes in vision, tingling or numbness, difficulty in speaking or understanding speech, difficulty swallowing, loss of balance, and loss of consciousness, according to WebMD.
In the recent Xarelto lawsuit, the plaintiff is accusing Janssen of product liability, infliction of emotional distress, fraud, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation. He is seeking an unspecified amount in damages at this time.
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