Report: New Applications for Anticoagulant Medications – At What Risk?

A recent article from Medpage Today looks at new uses being proposed for a class of medications know as new oral anticoagulants (NOACs).  This is a fairly new class of medications that includes Xarelto, Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Savaysa.  These medications were designed primary to treat patients who suffer from a serious medical condition know as atrial fibrillation (Afib).

perscription-drugs-2-1160103-m-300x225As you have probably heard actor Kevin Nealon tell you during a commercial break, Afib is medical condition classified as a irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve defect.  A patient with Afib is at risk for developing blood clots that can cause serious and often deadly problems.  They can block the flow of blood to the brain.  This deprives the brain of much needed oxygen and is what happens when a patient has a stroke. The loss of blood can cause death or serious brain injury that can have life long effects.

As you have probably heard golf legend Arnold Palmer tell you, Xarelto (and other NOACs) can also treat patients who suffer from a serious medical condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVTs).  DVTs are blood clots that form deep within the veins of the legs.  When these clots break free, they can travel through he circulatory system and punch a hole in the lungs.  This is deadly medical condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE).

Traditionally, the standard treatment for Afib and DVT patients was Warfarin (Coumadin).  Warfarin has proven very effective in preventing these serious clotting disorders, but there a certain risks associate with the drug.  Since it is a blood thinner and not an anticoagulant, it is important to closely monitor a patient’s dose.  If the does is off, a patient who is cut may not be able to clot properly, and a simple injury can become a major problem.  It is also necessary for a patient to closely monitor his diet, because eating too much vitamin K can cause serious problems as well.  Vitamin K is found in many leafy green vegetables found in salads.

However, while NOACs like Xarelto are designed to be a one size fits all dosage, as we have seen in thousands of Xarelto injury lawsuits, these drugs are not without their own set of serious problems. The major problem is that patients who are taking Xarelto and its class mates may develop a serious internal bleeding disorder, and there is no warning, and until recently, nothing doctors could do treat a patient.  There is an antidote made by the makers of Pradaxa that supposedly works on all four drugs, so the companies hope to get sales back on track.

As if they are not already making enough money with their dangerous anticlotting drug, the drug companies are hoping they will be able to use their new medications to treat a condition known as thrombosis in patients who suffer from antiphospholipid syndrome with previous venous thromboembolism (VTE).  Studies are being conducted in Europe. Warfarin is also the current treatment option for VTE, so these companies are trying to completely get rid of their competitor from the market. There is currently no antidote to treat VTE patients who suffer a Xarelto injury.

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Additional Resources:

Newer Anticoagulants Helpful in Antiphospholipid Syndrome, February 12, 2016, Medpage Today, By Wayne Kuznar

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