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Rivaroxaban And Bleeding: Why You May Need A Personal Injury Attorney

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Blood clots can lead to life-threatening conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). To prevent or control these symptoms, doctors often prescribe anticoagulants, which thin a patient's blood. Rivaroxaban (normally sold under a brand name) is a relatively new anticoagulant that doctors have prescribed for many patients since 2011, but some users can experience serious side effects. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a rivaroxaban prescription, learn more about the effects of the drug, and why you may need to contact a personal injury attorney.

Approval in the United States

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved rivaroxaban in 2012 to treat serious medical conditions where the patient suffers from blood clots. These conditions include deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The FDA had already approved the drug for people who have knee or hip replacement surgery, and, in November 2011, the agency also approved the drug to cut the risk of stroke for people with an abnormal heart rhythm. 

The FDA reviewed rivaroxaban as part of its expedited six-month drug review, which the agency reserves for drugs that offer a major advance in treatment. Crucially, as part of these clinical studies, the FDA reported serious bleeding as a potential side effect from the medication. 

Reported side effects

According to the National Institutes of Health, rivaroxaban can cause several side effects. You should talk to your doctor if you experience persistent muscle spasms, headache, rash, itching or difficulty breathing. Your doctor may suggest another drug, but many of these symptoms will subside over time. That aside, the medicine now carries warnings for certain serious side effects.

People with atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) are at higher risk of stroke when taking this medication. If you have epidural or spinal anesthesia, rivaroxaban can lead to a blood clot around the spine, which can then cause paralysis. Your doctor will carefully need to consider if the medication is safe for you to use, particularly if you are taking other blood thinning medicines.

Some rivaroxaban patients also experience uncontrollable bleeding. This risk is particularly high for people who already take aspirin, warfarin, heparin and other anticoagulants. Patients using the medication can suffer serious intestinal bleeding or brain hemorrhaging. There is no antidote to deal with significant bleeding when patients use blood thinners, and some people die from these complications.

Number of injuries

The FDA publishes information on the number of adverse events and injuries that patients experience due to medicines and medical devices. In the first quarter of 2013, the Institute of Medication Practices (ISMP) discovered that the FDA reported 680 adverse events related to rivaroxaban. This number of events was higher than other coagulants, and the ISMP said that the increase was due to doctors switching their patients from other blood thinners to rivaroxaban.

As such, the risk of injury from the medication is generally increasing in the United States.

Why people are filing lawsuits

Patients who suffer uncontrolled bleeding need extensive medical care and support. Bleeding injuries can mean you are dependant on a loved one's support, and you may need a lot of time off work. These injuries also cause families significant distress. As such, a lot of patients and their families are filing lawsuits against drug manufacturers for rivaroxaban injuries.

Patients have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers because they claim the pharmaceutical companies marketed the product in a misleading way. Many injured people claim that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn patients of the risks of rivaroxaban.

A personal injury attorney from a firm like Hardee and Hardee LLP can help you file a lawsuit. He or she can help you understand more about the statute of limitations in your state, which may limit the time you have to file a claim. An experienced attorney can also make sure you present the right evidence, and can also help you understand how much compensation you are likely to receive.

Rivaroxaban is the latest in a number of popular anticoagulants, which can effectively cut the risk of dangerous blood disorders. Unfortunately, the medication can also cause serious side effects, and affected patients and families should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.