Both Xarelto and Pradaxa are popular blood thinners prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots that can cause a stroke or heart attack. These types of medications, however, come with serious risks because of their effect on the blood. While blood clots are dangerous and can lead to debilitating consequences, internal bleeding – a side effect of blood thinners – can be just as dangerous.
Also known as rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and dabigatran (Pradaxa), the medications are commonly called “blood thinners”, but don’t actually thin the blood.
“The concentrations of blood cells don’t actually change,” said Keith McCrae, MD at the Cleveland Clinic, in an article. “Blood thinners work by either inhibiting the function of one of these clotting factors or lowering levels of these clotting factors by 10 to 20 percent of their normal levels.”
What many patients didn’t realize, however, is the connection between blood thinners like Pradaxa and Xarelto to severe (and irreversible) internal bleeding. While blood thinners are designed to stop blood from clotting, such clots are necessary when an injury occurs – like a fall or hitting your head. If internal bleeding happens as a result of a fall and the person is on blood thinners, the bleeding may not stop until it has caused life-threatening damage.
For Xarelto specifically, there is no known antidote for reversing the bleeding once it has begun. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports from patients who have been injured by Xarelto.
Serious Xarelto Side Effects
If you take Xarelto and notice any of the below side effects, talk to your doctor immediately:
- Unusual pain, swelling or discomfort
- Unusual bruising
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums
- Persistent and/or frequent nose bleeds
- Unusually heavy or prolonged menstrual flow
- Coughing up blood
- Dark urine and/or tarry stools
- Vomit that is blood or looks like coffee grounds
- Severe headache, dizziness or fainting
- Unusual or persistent tiredness and fatigue
- Difficulty swallowing
The pharmaceutical lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy are investigating the legal rights of people who suffered significant injuries while taking Xarelto. We are no longer accepting cases for Pradaxa, as its manufacturer agreed to pay $650 million in a comprehensive settlement in 2014.