A new study, which was reported at the American College of Chest Physicians’ annual meeting, has revealed that AF patients in receipt of the anticoagulant medication Rivaroxaban experience more episodes of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding than those patients who are taking Warfarin. This information is a result of the data that were found when researchers analyzed the ROCKET AF study.

“Compared with Warfarin, the risk of GI bleeding is increased with Rivaroxaban, but the incidence of life-threatening or fatal GI bleeding is lower,” said Christopher Nessel, MD, from research and development at Johnson & Johnson in Raritan, New Jersey. “A careful benefit/risk assessment is needed prior to prescribing Rivaroxaban for high-risk patients.”

For the analysis, reviewers monitored how many times AF patients experienced GI bleeding in as many as 14,264 patients that had nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and were enrolled in the ROCKET AF study. The patients were analyzed based on whether they were taking Rivaroxaban or Warfarin. They found that of the patients that experienced GI bleeding, it was attributed to a drop in the patients’ hemoglobin or the transfusion of more than 2 units of red cells that was the defining factor.

While both the Rivaroxaban and Warfarin caused GI bleeding, the major incidents were caused in those who had previously experienced GI bleeding, those who had anemia and those with lower creatine clearance. Smokers and older patients didn’t experience as much GI bleeding. The GI bleeding attacks were similar in both groups of patients, but in the end, the Rivaroxaban patients’ bleeding episodes were slightly higher.

Anticoagulant medications are a common prescription for AF patients, and one of them that is used is Multaq, which is made by Sanofi-Aventis. Multaq is not often prescribed unless other medications fail to work because the drug can cause liver failure and worsen a patient’s heart condition.

If you or a loved one has developed liver failure or a worsening of the heart condition as a result of taking Multaq, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.