Xarelto (Rivaroxaban)

Xarelto is an anti-coagulant (or blood thinner) intended to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib is a condition in which the heart beats irregularly, increasing the chance of blood clots and stroke. Xarelto is also prescribed for treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a medical term that refers to a blood clot in a vein, often in the legs, and pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot in the lungs.

Xarelto is one of several recently developed “Non-vitamin K antagonist Oral Anti-Coagulants” (NOACs). The NOACs were developed as alternatives to Warfarin (also known as Coumadin), a different type of blood thinner that has been on the market since 1954.

Xarelto has been shown to cause serious bleeding events including abdominal bleeding and brain hemorrhage. Xarelto bleeding events may lead to secondary organ damage particularly in the brain, lungs, or kidneys, and may even result in death. In fact, in one clinical study of Xarelto, 27 participants died from a Xarelto bleeding event. Patients with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension are at greater risk for experiencing a Xarelto related bleed.

Although it is intended to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke, in some patients Xarelto may even cause blood clots. Patients who have had knee or hip replacements are at an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots. Patients on Xarelto who have medicine injected into their spine, or who undergo medical procedures that include spinal puncture, are at higher risk of forming spinal or epidural blood clots that can result in permanent paralysis.

Since it was first approved in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has issued several warnings regarding Xarelto including “black box” warnings, which are the strictest warnings the FDA can require.

Thousands of law suits have been filed by patients who took Xarelto and suffered serious injuries or death. The lawsuits assert that Xarelto, which was developed by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bayer Pharma AG (Bayer) and Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries Janssen Research and Development, LLC, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen), is an unreasonably dangerous drug and that Bayer and Janssen knew it was dangerous when they put it on the market. The lawsuits also assert that Bayer and Janssen concealed information about the true dangers of Xarelto from the FDA, doctors, and patients, and that they misrepresented the safety of Xarelto in their marketing materials.

In many cases, the lawsuits allege that if doctors had been properly warned they would have prescribed a different medication, such as Warfarin, because the effects of Warfarin can be quickly reversed with Vitamin K. Unlike Warfarin, there is currently no fast-acting reversal agent for Xarelto. This means that a patient on Warfarin who experiences a bleeding event can quickly begin receiving potentially life-saving treatment, but when a patient who has taken Xarelto experiences a bleeding event, doctors must wait for Xarelto to be flushed out of the patient’s body.

If you or a loved one is currently taking Xarelto, do not stop taking Xarelto, or reduce your dosage, without first consulting with your treating physician because once a patient begins taking Xarelto, it can be dangerous to stop without medical guidance.

If you or a loved one has taken Xarelto and experienced any adverse side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Canepa Riedy Abele are currently offering free case evaluations to patients who have been harmed by Xarelto. To learn more about your legal options, please contact us for a free consultation.

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