Xarelto is a prescription blood-thinning drug used primarily in patients with a risk of developing blood clots or suffering a stroke. Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, it is an extremely popular drug that netted nearly $2 billion in sales in 2013 alone. The drug has been endorsed by numerous celebrities and advertised heavily on television.
Recently, a federal judge in Louisiana determined the first bellwether trials for injuries and deaths caused by Xarelto will go to trial at the beginning of 2017. According to a Reuters report, the plaintiffs have brought lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, as well as Bayer, which manufactures the drug in Europe. The plaintiffs’ primary complaint is that they were not told of the full risks of taking Xarelto.
The Dangers Of Xarelto
Unlike other types of blood thinners, such as Warfarin, Xarelto has no antidote. One of the main risks associated with blood thinners is uncontrolled bleeding. In some patients, oral blood thinners interfere with the body’s ability to produce anticoagulants, which help the blood clot. The result is excessive bleeding that can lead to serious injuries and even death. Patients taking Xarelto have suffered numerous adverse side effects, including abdominal bleeding, blood in the lungs, and cerebral hemorrhages. Without an antidote, doctors struggle to reverse the negative effects of Xarelto.
Many plaintiffs have claimed they were not fully informed about the risks of taking Xarelto. Although the drug’s manufacturer did an excellent job of promoting the medication, it failed to tell consumers all the risks associated with the blood thinner. One group of plaintiffs claim Xarelto continued to be sold aggressively despite a 2013 warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that warned Johnson & Johnson about “overselling” the benefits of the drug.