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Drug Company Hopes Xarelto Can Finally Overtake Warfarin Due to Antidote

With the regular NFL season coming to close and playoffs heating up, there will be more people watching football than at any other point in the season. This will, of course, culminate with Super Bowl 50. During the Super Bowl, many will tune in for the big game and others will come just for the commercials. Super Bowl commercials are such a big draw that advertisers will pay over $10 million for a single 30-second spot.

perscription-drugs-2-1160103-mAs we have seen during the regular season, we can expect to see commercials for Xarelto, along with Pradaxa and Eliquis, and possibly Savaysa. These are all members of a new class of drugs called New Oral Anticoagulants (NOAC). They are prescribed for patients who suffer from a serious, but manageable health condition known as atrial fibrillation (Afib). Afib patients have an irregular heartbeat that causes large clots to form deep within in the veins of the legs in a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When one of these clots breaks free where it has formed, it can travel through the bloodstream causing disastrous results. It can puncture a hole in the lungs known as a pulmonary embolism (PE) that can be deadly. The clots can also block the flow of blood to the brain, causing a stroke.

For many years, doctors have used a traditional blood thinner such as Warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent clots from forming in Afib patients. While Warfarin is very effective, it can cause serious complications if the dosage is off even by a little. This requires patients to routinely undergo blood tests to make sure the absorption rate of the Warfarin is correct. Patients are also required to closely watch their diets, because certain foods can affect the absorption rate of Warfarin.   If the dosage is not correct, the medicine can cause a serious internal bleeding disorder.

Xarelto and its classmates do not require frequent blood testing, or monitoring of a patient’s diet, because the dosage is the same for everyone. This makes the drug much more convenient than Warfarin. However, as we have seen in thousands of Xarelto injury lawsuits, some patients will develop a serious internal bleeding condition. This can include intracranial bleeding.

There was no way to know if a patient would experience this serious side effect, and there was no way to reverse the effects. Patients were literally bleeding to death as result of Xarelto side effects. These concerns and recent warnings from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have harmed sales in some ways. While the companies are still making billions, they have not been able to knock Warfarin off the market.

However, according to a recent news feature from Business Insider, a recent antidote (reversal agent) may be enough for Xarelto to dominate the market. It is not only the risk of internal bleeding that is keeping some doctors from prescribing the medicine but the fact that there was no reversal agent in the event a patient needed emergency surgery. A patient cannot go through surgery if they are unable to form blood clots in most cases, because that would seriously interfere with the ability to heal following an operation.

If you are a victim Xarelto victim and live in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

New blood thinner ‘antidote’ to help doctors move past warfarin, December 27, 2015, Business Insider, by Bill Berkot

More Blog Entries:

Risk for Internal Bleeding after Taking Pradaxa, August 22, 2014, Boston Dangerous Drugs Injury Lawyer Blog