A group known as Public Citizen is trying to warn atrial fibrillation (AF) patients against using the popular anticoagulant medications Dabigatran (Pradaxa) and Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) because of the drugs’ links to brain bleeds. This warning was published in the group’s latest edition of Worst Pills, Best Pills newsletter (subscription required). In this newsletter, the group focuses on reports by doctors that state that both the anticoagulants are causing patients to bleed when being used.
The group’s newsletter also points out that the drugs’ manufacturer claims the pills are safer to use than the long-popular anticoagulant Warfarin because they are easier to take and don’t need as much monitoring. However true that may be, the pills are still more dangerous in terms of bleeding risks. Both Xarelto and Pradaxa are used to help prevent strokes in patients suffering from AF, a rapid or fluttering heartbeat.
“All anticoagulants used in stroke prevention, including the traditional treatment of Warfarin, carry bleeding risks. However, the anticoagulant effects of Warfarin can be quickly reversed using vitamin K, blood plasma and/or clotting agents. It also is relatively easy to measure the levels of Warfarin in the blood,” the newsletter states. “In sharp contrast, there is no simple treatment known to reverse the adverse effects of Dabigatran or the other similar new longer-acting agents, and no available test can accurately measure the levels of these drugs in the blood.”
Public Citizen warnings also extend to patients who have kidney or liver problems because they are more likely to bleed due to their bodies’ inability to properly remove the drugs from their system. The group specifically draws attention to the fact that neither pill has been proven through clinical trials to help doctors even know the best dosage to give.
“Avoid starting Dabigatran or Rivaroxaban if you are being prescribed an anticoagulant for the first time, and do not switch to these drugs if you are taking Warfarin,” Public Citizen’s warning says. “Although one or more of the new anticoagulants may eventually be used safely and effectively in clinical practice (if the right tests and antidotes can be developed), at present they clearly carry risks, and too little is known about them at this time to abandon warfarin as the trusted alternative.”
Other drugs used to treat AF include another anticoagulant like Multaq. Multaq is made by Sanofi-Aventis and has been linked to serious side effects including a worsening of the heart condition, liver failure and lung toxicity. It is for this reason that the FDA has recommended that doctors only prescribe Multaq if all other medications fail to work.
If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure or a worsening heart condition after being treated with Multaq, contact the attorneys at 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.