The blood thinner Xarelto can be dangerous for users.
Ever since Xarelto hit pharmacy shelves in 2011, there have been thousands of injuries, long-term illnesses, and even wrongful deaths linked to the popular blood thinner. Consequently, many victims of the flawed blood thinner filed a Xarelto lawsuit. If you or someone you love has suffered severe injuries from Xarelto, the Houston defective drug attorneys at Reich & Binstock are here to help. Call us today at 713-622-7271.
What is Xarelto?
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is a blood thinner intended to significantly reduce the risk of stroke by preventing blood clots. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, received FDA approval in 2011 to market Xarelto for the following purposes:
Reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) that might occur following knee replacement or hip replacement surgery
Treating DVT and PE and to reduce their recurrence following initial treatment
Reducing the risk of stroke in people who have a type of abnormal heart rhythm called nonvalvular atrial fibrillation
Following almost 50 years of market domination in the class of blood-thinning drugs, the generic drug Warfarin (once sold under the brand names Coumadin and Jantoven) lost a good deal of its market share with the 2011 introduction of Rivaroxaban (sold under the brand name Xarelto). Since then, doctors have prescribed Xarelto millions of times.
How is Xarelto Different from Warfarin?
The main difference between the two blood thinners is that Xarelto blocks what’s called “Factor Xa,” which is an enzyme needed to form blood clots. Meanwhile, Warfarin interferes with vitamin K and at least six other blood-clotting factors. Additionally, Warfarin requires regular blood testing and dietary restrictions but Xarelto doesn’t.
Xarelto Side Effects
Similar to any other medication, Xarelto has its fair share of negative side effects including:
Serious or fatal bleeding
Red or black stool
Brown, red, or pink urine
Coughing up blood
Blood clots after stopping Xarelto
Stroke after stopping Xarelto
Heavy menstrual periods
Anxiety and depression
Spinal or epidural hematoma
Acute kidney injuries
No “Safety Valve” for Xarelto
For all its faults, there is a reason why Warfarin persisted in the marketplace for over 50 years: it’s effective, inexpensive, relatively low risk, and there’s a “safety valve.” Additionally, another important benefit of Warfarin is that if a patient started uncontrollably bleeding – a risk with any blood thinning or anti-clotting medication – an antidote exists. As previously stated, Warfarin interferes with vitamin K. For example, if someone started excessively bleeding from Warfarin, an injection of vitamin K would stabilize the situation. However, no “safety valve” exists for Xarelto, which works on “Factor Xa.”
How Many People Died from Using Xarelto?
During Xarelto’s first year on the market, healthcare officials reported more than 2,000 negative side effects along with 151 deaths, according to a report by ISMP. More presently, the FDA reported a total of 15,043 negative side effects due to Xarelto by the end of 2016. This is a 40% increase of injuries and deaths due to Xarelto according to Drug Safety News. In total, the FDA links 400 deaths to Xarelto, although there are likely hundreds more. In fact, healthcare officials link Xarelto to more severe and deadly bleeding incidents than any other blood thinners.
Uncontrolled Bleeding Starts Xarelto Lawsuit
As shown previously, there’s a lengthy list of side effects linked to Xarelto. But uncontrolled bleeding is the side effect that started the string of Xarelto lawsuits. Additionally, the fact that Xarelto doesn’t have a “safety valve” like other blood thinners is another hang up in various lawsuits. Many lawsuits also claim that doctors have no way of stopping Xarelto users from bleeding out in an emergency. Plaintiffs in these specific lawsuits link cerebral hemorrhaging and digestive bleeds to Xarelto. Some plaintiffs also claim that Johnson & Johnson purposely hid the risk of deadly bleeding from patients taking Xarelto.
Xarelto Lawsuit Over Kidney Injuries
Another severe, long-term side effect from Xarelto is acute kidney injuries, also known as anticoagulant-related nephropathy. In this type of injury, the kidney tissues that filter urine start hemorrhaging because blood is so thin from Xarelto. Therefore, the hemorrhaging makes blood build up in the kidneys. This can lead to more kidney damage and can additionally lead to renal failure.
Because of the mounting numbers of kidney injuries due to Xarelto, the number of lawsuits naturally mounted as well. Basically, a Xarelto lawsuit will specifically claim that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn patients of kidney injury risks. Even if the risk is less than with Warfarin, it’s still not safe for patients to consume. The lawsuits also claim that Johnson & Johnson aren’t absolved of their legal duty to warn patients of the risks of taking the drug.
Why Do Drug Companies Sometimes Avoid Providing Warnings?
In America, federal law requires drug companies to warn both doctors and patients of the risks of taking certain medications. Occasionally, drug companies avoid providing these warnings because it can scare people away from taking the medication and therefore cut the company’s profits. A Xarelto lawsuit basically claims that the lack of warning about potential kidney injuries breached the drug company’s legal duty.
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Settlement
In March 2019, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer agreed to settle nearly 25,000 Xarelto lawsuits for $775 million. Each company basically agreed to pay half of the settlement costs. However, there are still 18,000 Xarelto lawsuits pending. Some of the lawsuits are wrongful death actions.
Contaminated Xarelto Recalled
In the midst of thousands of lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson recalled 13,500 bottles of Xarelto in 2014 due to a microbial contamination. The contaminated bottles evidently came from Johnson & Johnson’s Puerto Rico plant. However, the company found only one bottle to be actually contaminated. But out of an abundance of caution, Johnson & Johnson recalled thousands more bottles as well.
What Damages Can Xarelto Victims Receive?
If you or a loved one suffered serious side effects from taking Xarelto, you may be able to receive damages for:
Many victims also argue that Johnson & Johnson should provide punitive damages for their failure to provide drug warnings.
How Can a Xarelto Attorney Help Me?
Maybe you’ve suffered negative side effects from Xarelto and you’re wondering how an attorney can help you in a Xarelto lawsuit. A defective drug attorney can:
Help you determine whether you have a claim
Determine the parties responsible for your injuries
File a Xarelto lawsuit
Negotiate with insurance companies or other attorneys
Represent you during your Xarelto lawsuit
Connect you with doctors and resources to help you manage your injuries
Ensure that you don’t waive your legal rights
How Do I Know If I Have a Case for a Xarelto Lawsuit?
As stated previously, the best way to know if you have a case for a Xarelto lawsuit is to contact an attorney at Reich & Binstock. However, you may not be ready to take that step yet. Basically, you may have a case if:
A doctor prescribed you Xarelto
You took Xarelto as directed by your doctor
You noticed serious complications shortly after taking Xarelto
Call One of Our Xarelto Injury Lawyers Today
There have been thousands of Xarelto lawsuits filed since 2011. If you or someone you love has physically suffered because of Xarelto, you may be entitled to significant compensation. To find out more and to schedule a free consultation with a Xarelto injury lawyer, contact Reich and Binstock at 713-622-7271 today.