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Pradaxa Used with Drug Combination May Raise Bleeding Risk

Sometimes a drug is used by itself, and sometimes a drug is used as one drug in a multiple drug combination used together to treat a single condition or a series of related conditions.  This is commonly referred to as a drug combo or drug cocktail in some cases, such as with HIV drugs.

greenpillsPradaxa is a member of a class of drugs known as New Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) and is used, among other things, to treat a serious medical condition known as atrial fibrillation (Afib).  As we have heard former Saturday Night Live actor tell us on the commercials for Xarelto, Afib is a condition identified as an irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve defect.

While the drug of choice for many years was Warfarin (Coumadin), the makers of these NOACs all claim their respective drugs are much better and safer than Warfarin.  However, as our Boston Pradaxa injury attorneys have seen in far too many cases, this is not necessarily the case, since Pradaxa can lead to a serious internal bleeding disorder that can result in a victim’s death. This bleeding disorder can include intracranial bleeding, which is obviously very serious and can not only lead to death, but can lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI) in patients who are fortunate enough to survive the bleeding disorder.

However, Pradaxa is not only used alone.  In some cases, doctors will use it as part of drug therapy combination to treat Afib, and when Pradaxa is used in the combination, it can result in an even higher risk for internal bleeding, according to a recent news article from the Independent Record.  This article is focusing on a recent study that was performed in Canada.

The study looked at patients who suffered from Afib and were prescribed Pradaxa.  This was around 46,000 patients. Some of these patients were given lovastatin, which, as the name implies, is in a class of drugs known as statins, or simvastatin, or one of various other traditional statins.  The patients who took Pradaxa and one of these two drugs had a much higher risk of internal bleeding, as seen by the number of emergency room visits, than patients who were not on this combination of drugs.  All of the patients were age 65 or older and were taking the drugs to reduce their risk of stroke.

Researchers found that risk of bleeding disorder for a patient taking Pradaxa and lovastatin or simvastatin was 40 percent higher than for patients where taking Pradaxa along with other statin medications. To go along with a significantly higher risk of internal bleeding, there did not seem to be any decrease in the risk of a stroke, as compared to patients who were taking Pradaxa and the other statins.  In other words, these two drugs seemed to make Pradaxa more likely to result in internal bleeding, but did not work any better to control the stroke risk, which is the reason the patients were taking the drugs in the first place.

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

Additional Resources:

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk, November 21, 2016, Associated Press

More Blog Entries:

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