A recent article from Digital Trends takes a look at the frequently aired Xaretlo commercial and the health issues surrounding the drug. In case you haven’t seen the commercial, which would indicate you do not watch any sporting events, and likely do not watch television at all, it stars Kevin Nealon from Saturday Night Live fame, legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, and NASCAR’s Brian Vickers all having a friendly game of golf.
As implausible as this scenario sounds, the next thing the group of close friends do is discuss how Xarelto has helped their lives. Vickers said he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his leg, and would require a blood thinning medication so he talked to his doctor about Xaretlo. He is even shown wearing a Xarelto sponsored racing uniform, though they are not actually his sponsor. It should also be noted that the fine print said Vickers had to stop racing while taking Xaretlo.
Palmer, a long retired golfer, said he took Xarelto for a blood clot in his leg, also, and was trying to prevent a pulmonary embolism (PE) and Deep Vein Thrombosis. Thrombosis is when the clot that has formed deep within the veins of the body, normally in the legs, breaks free and travels trough the circularly system. If it reaches the brain, it can shut off the supply of oxygen and blood, and this would result in a stroke. If the clot reaches the lungs, it can puncture a hole causing a deadly health condition.
Kevin Nealon discusses how he uses Xarelto to treat his medical condition known as atrial fibrillation (Afib). Afib is a serious medical condition resulting in an irregular heartbeat. This irregular heartbeat causes clots to form that lead to stroke, PE, and DVTs. After telling their respective stories and why they need Xarelto, they all sit down for lunch at an outdoor table at the Country club and have a talk about how much Xarelto has improved their lives.
What they do not focus on in the commercial is that some people who take Xarelto, and there does not seem to be a way to predict who these people will be, will have a serious adverse reaction to Xarelto involving internal bleeding and even an intracranial bleeding disorder that involves bleeding in the brain. Not only is this a very serious medical condition, there in no FDA-approved way to stop or reverse the condition. This means that when patients would come into the emergency room suffering from internal bleeding caused by a side effect of Xarelto, there was nothing doctors could do to stop them from bleeding. Thousands of patients were affected by this potentially dangerous medicine and over 60 people died.
As noted in the article, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on the verge of approving a reversal agent (antidote) for Xarelto that was manufactured by the makers of Pradaxa. Pradaxa is another New Oral Anticoagulant (NOAC) medication being used to treat Afib and reduce the risk of DVTs and PE.
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Don’t worry Kevin Nealon, this anticoagulant antidote should be approved soon, December 24, 2015, by Aliya Barnwell
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