When the anticoagulant drug Pradaxa was first released in 2010, many people in the medical community were thrilled. According to studies, there was promise that the blood thinner Pradaxa would be a better fit for patients who needed blood thinners than Warfarin. Blood thinners are used for a variety of reasons, but most commonly, they are used for patients who are at an increased risk for stroke due to blood clots. Pradaxa (and other similar blood thinners, such as Warfarin and Xaralto) work to stop the blood from clotting, thereby reducing the risk of stroke. In the beginning, Pradaxa looked great- the new drug proved to be just as effective as Warfarin, but left behind Warfarin’s need for frequent blood tests. Pradaxa also was not affected by the patient’s food choices, as Warfarin was. Pradaxa appeared to be just as effective as Warfarin in preventing stroke-causing blood clots, while leaving the patient less likely to experience bleeding side effects. It seemed that Pradaxa was an answer that doctors and patients were both looking for.
Sadly, things have not gone well for many patients treated with Pradaxa. Since the drug’s release in 2010, enthusiasm in the medical community has severely diminished, as many people have experienced side effects far worse than what they experienced with Warfarin. In a recent study comparing Pradaxa and Warfarin, 9% of subjects taking Pradaxa experienced a major bleed (compared to only 6% of patients taking Warfarin). Patients of African descent were more likely to bleed from Pradaxa, as were those with chronic kidney disease. Patients who took Pradaxa were also more likely to experience gastrointestinal bleeding than those who took Warfarin. Brain hemorrhage was more likely on Pradaxa as well. The manufacturers of Pradaxa were simply irresponsible for releasing the drug before more extensive testing. Critics believe that the manufacturer of Pradaxa pushed it to the market without fully exploring the potential negative effects of the drug.
One of the scariest things about Pradaxa is that currently, no reversal agent exists. This means that if someone taking Pradaxa is involved in a car accident, needs emergency surgery, experiences an ulcer, etc., there is a chance that they may bleed to death, and there is nothing that medical professionals can do to stop the bleeding. Other anticoagulants, such as Warfarin, have an antidote in case of emergency (a drug to allow the blood to coagulate as normal- allowing patients on Warfarin to get the treatment they need without the risk of bleeding to death). People taking Pradaxa are at risk of death simply because doctors may refuse to perform lifesaving surgeries due to the high risk of uncontrollable bleeding, without an antidote to keep blood loss under control.
When Pradaxa was originally released, it was estimated that approximately 50 people would die from use- this is a typical, expected number of deaths due to patient error, bad reactions, etc. The actual number was five times as high within one month of Pradaxa’s release. Wrongful death is not just a horrible error with Pradaxa- it’s quickly becoming the norm. At this point, over 260 deaths have occurred due to Pradaxa use- this death rate is 98.7% higher than all other drugs monitored by the FDA.
Our lawyers are currently reviewing injury claims based on the following Pradaxa side effects:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Uncontrollable internal bleeding
- Bleeding deaths
Contact an Experienced Pradaxa Injury Lawyer
My name is Brian Ricci and I am a North Carolina Pradaxa Injury Lawyer. Blood thinners are supposed to prevent people from developing blood clots. Anyone who has been injured by Pradaxa should contact me at (252) 777-2222 for free, friendly advice. I have a toll-free number at (888) 484-6881.
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