Are Blood Thinners Dangerous to Use?
Do you use a blood thinner like Xarelto or Pradaxa to reduce the risk of blood clots? If so, you may be interested in a new study that highlights the dangers of using blood thinners for some individuals.
What is a Blood Thinner?
A blood thinner is a medication used in many patients to prevent blood clots from forming or becoming larger. Blood clots can be extremely dangerous and deadly for patients. Strokes, heart attacks, and blockages can be caused by clots in the veins, arteries, and heart. Patients who might be prescribed blood thinners include people who have a heart valve replacement, cardiovascular disease, congenital heart defects, atrial fibrillation, or risk of blood clots after surgery.
Patients may take one of two types of blood thinners. Antiplatelet drugs, including aspirin, prevent blood cells from clotting together. Anticoagulants, including Pradaxa and Xarelto, slow down the body’s development if blood clots.
Blood Thinners Named as One of the Most Dangerous Drugs
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has named anticoagulants as the prescription drugs that most likely can lead to an emergency room visit. Anticoagulants include the popular blood thinners Xarelto and Pradaxa. The ISMP analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and concluded that 22,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths were related to blood thinners in 2016.
Unfortunately, the FDA only tracts voluntary reports. Therefore, the actual number of injuries and deaths related to blood thinners could be higher. The CDC estimates the actual number of patients injured by blood thinners could be ten times greater than the numbers contained in the voluntary reports.
Dangerous Side Effects of Blood Thinners
Blood thinners like Pradaxa and Xarelto can save lives by preventing strokes and heart attacks caused by blood clots. However, these drugs are not without risk. Hemorrhaging and excessive bleeding are known side effects of blood thinners. Numerous lawsuits have been filed to date, alleging severe injuries and deaths after taking Pradaxa and Xarelto.
A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine (online Oct. 3, 2016), analyzed 118,000 patients being treated with anticoagulants like Xarelto or Pradaxa for atrial fibrillation. Researchers concluded that the use of the medication increased the possibility of bleeding in the digestive tract or skull more than using another anticoagulant. The risk appeared to be higher in older patients.
Drug manufacturers allege that the benefits of anticoagulants outweigh the bleeding risk. However, for patients who have suffered severe injuries and families who have lost loved ones because of excessive bleeding may disagree.
Patients should discuss the benefits and risks carefully with their physicians to determine if taking anticoagulants is the best way to treat their condition. Being informed is the first step in protecting yourself from potentially dangerous drugs. In addition, you can take steps to help reduce your risk of side effects including:
- Following all instructions contained in the drug label and taking the medication exactly as your physician prescribes it;
- Read all enclosed material that you receive with your prescription;
- Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know all medications you currently take, including over-the-counter medications you may use occasionally;
- Report any side effects to your physician immediately;
- Avoid food and drinks that can interfere with blood thinners; and,
- Go to the emergency room if you experience any signs of excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging.
Call for a Xarelto or Pradaxa Free Case Evaluation
If you have experienced side effects while taking Pradaxa or Xarelto, you might be entitled to compensation Call The Fox Law Firm, P.C. at 1-866-FOX-FIRM or 1-866-369-3476 for a free consultation with an experienced legal professional.