The FDA originally approved Xarelto in 2011 for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery. Since then the use has been expanded to use in patients at risk of stroke. In the United States, Xarelto is manufactured by Bayer and sold by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The popularity of Xarelto led it to become the highest grossing drug for Bayer and one of the top five drugs in gross sales for Johnson & Johnson, generating billions of dollars of sales for both companies.
Potential Problems With Xarelto
Like Pradaxa, Xarelto is a more convenient treatment for blood clots than more traditional treatments such as Coumadin which require frequent blood monitoring and dietary restrictions. But like Pradaxa (which was the subject of thousands of lawsuits leading to a $650 million settlement), Xarelto has been associated with several problems, such as:
- Cerebral hemorrhaging
- Gastrointestinal bleeds
- Abnormal liver function
- Deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin (anemia) requiring transfusion
Unlike traditional treatments such as warfarin or Coumadin, there is no known currently available antidote for Xarelto.
How Xarelto Interacts With Other Medications
The bleeding risk associated with Xarelto appears highest for people taking larger doses of the medication or who are also taking the following:
- Any medicine that contains heparin
- NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Other drugs for blood clots
- Plavix (clopidogrel)
- SSRIs (Zoloft, Prozac) and SNRIs (Effexor)
- Warfarin (Jantoven, Coumadin)
A number of other medications can also cause adverse interactions if taken with Xarelto, but they don't increase bleeding complications.
Status of the Litigation
More than 18,500 cases are pending in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) consolidated in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans. While Defendants won the first three trials, including an August 2017 trial in the MDL, Plaintiffs did score their first victory in Pennsylvania state court in December 2017. However, that Pennsylvania verdict was set aside in early 2018. In March 2018, the judge presiding over the federal MDL ordered staged remands of several hundred cases, meaning hundreds of cases will be sent to various courts across the country for further proceedings.
We Can Help
If you or someone you love suffered hemorrhaging or gastrointestinal bleeding after taking Xarelto, you should obtain legal representation. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault works to protect the interests of patients who’ve been harmed by the medications they trusted to keep them healthy. Schedule a free, no-obligation case review today. You can also call us directly at 800.256.1050.