For years, many patients with irregular heartbeats (also known as atrial fibrillation) were prescribed the drug warfarin to prevent strokes and blood clots caused by abnormal heart rhythms and blood flow disruptions. Although warfarin has been on the market for 50 years, German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals brought Pradaxa – a competitor drug – to the market in 2010.
Pradaxa was marketed as an alternative to warfarin by indicating to doctors and patients that the drug was more convenient. Doctors welcomed Pradaxa because, unlike warfarin, it did not require patients to adhere to strict diets or have their blood tested frequently. Additionally, Pradaxa could be used in combination with other heart medications.
However, doctors are now realizing that Pradaxa’s heart attack risks and internal bleeding and hemorrhaging risks are worse than the drug’s alternative. Although warfarin and Pradaxa both have internal bleeding and hemorrhaging risks, bleeding while taking warfarin can at least be controlled with vitamin K. However, patients on Pradaxa cannot control bleeding, which can be life-threatening. Because there is no effective antidote for Pradaxa, many patients have died.
Pradaxa Reported Facts the FDA Received by December 2011
- There were 500 reports of death linked to Pradaxa
- More than 900 cases of gastrointestinal bleeding
- Over 300 cases of rectal bleeding
- More than 200 cases of cerebrovascular accidents
Pradaxa vs. Warfarin
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 2.6 million Americans with atrial fibrillation, and the number continues to increase. Because Pradaxa did not require blood checks and dietary restrictions, the drug quickly became popular with patients who suffered from irregular heartbeats. This means that the cases of internal bleeding, strokes, and heart attacks from Pradaxa may continue to increase as well.
This has the medical community concerned because there is currently no effective reversal agent for Pradaxa. Although patients taking Pradaxa could be put on dialysis to flush the system of Pradaxa, it takes a very long time to work and patients may die from severe internal bleeding in the meantime. Unfortunately, hemorrhaging cannot be controlled like it can for patients taking warfarin.
If your husband, wife, mom, or dad died from Pradaxa’s dangerous side effects, you may be entitled to pursue a dangerous drug lawsuit with help from a Pradaxa claim attorney. To talk with a lawyer skilled in dangerous drug lawsuits in Kentucky and Ohio, call the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy, & Johnson at 888-606-5297 today and speak with a Northern Kentucky drug injury lawyer in a free, no-obligation consultation.