Pradaxa Risks and Dangers
The Pradaxa attorneys at Johnson & Vines Law Firm are reviewing claims on behalf of patients who have allegedly suffered from serious complications while taking Pradaxa, including gastrointestinal bleeds, cerebral hemorrhaging and other severe bleeding . There are currently over 100 lawsuits pending against the manufacturer, and Pradaxa attorneys expect this number to increase over the next several months.
If you or someone you love took Pradaxa and suffered from severe internal bleeding, you may be eligible to join the growing litigation against the manufacturer and recover damages for your condition. Contact a Pradaxa attorney at the Johnson & Vines Law Firm today to learn more about your legal rights.
History of Pradaxa
First introduced in 2010 as a blood thinner, Pradaxa is intended to prevent strokes in patients living with atrial fibrillation. Pradaxa is also prescribed to prevent deep vein thrombosis in knee replacement procedures and hip surgeries as well as to prevent blood clots from traveling to the heart, lungs and brain. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the medication is not any more dangerous than warfarin, a traditional blood thinner, experts do not agree on whether Pradaxa increases a patient’s risk of internal bleeding.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has issued a warning that those experiencing bleeding due to Pradaxa may be five times more likely to suffer serious injury or death than those who take warfarin, largely due to the fact that warfarin has an antidote if an adverse reaction occurs, and Pradaxa does not. The organization has also named Pradaxa and other anticoagulants as the most harmful drugs currently available to the public. Additionally, a study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that the data on which the FDA made its assertion may have not been accurate as the study showed evidence that patients may be at an increased risk of bleeding while taking Pradaxa.
Side Effects and Complications
Since anticoagulants such as Pradaxa work to prevent the body from forming clots, a patient may be at an increased risk of serious and fatal bleeding. However, plaintiffs who are currently filing lawsuits allege that Pradaxa may be more dangerous as it has not been released with an antidote to reverse its anticlotting effects.
By contrast, when a patient starts to bleed while taking warfarin, a physician is able to administer vitamin K to stop the bleeding; there is no such drug or product available for Pradaxa, as vitamin K is not effective. One of the only known effective treatments for patients in these situations is emergency dialysis- a procedure that the healthcare community argues is often not useful for those suffering from life-threatening bleeding.
Patients who are seeking legal counsel from a Pradaxa attorney allege that some of the more severe signs of bleeding include:
- Dark or pink urine
- Unusual or easy bruising
- Prolonged or heavy menstrual flow
- Persistent or frequent nosebleeds
- Black, bloody or tarry stools
- Coughing up blood
- Unusual or persistent tiredness or weakness
- Coffee ground-colored or bloody vomit
- Dizziness or fainting
- Severe headaches
Although internal bleeding is one of the most commonly alleged Pradaxa complications in lawsuits filed by Pradaxa attorneys, the drug has also been linked to several less serious side effects such as:
- Severe heartburn, nausea or vomiting
- Gastrointestinal ulcers
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
There have allegedly been 542 deaths resulting from Pradaxa thus far. If accurate, this number surpasses all other drugs currently being monitored by the FDA. Media outlets have begun to take notice of the risk of bleeding as one source reported a Pradaxa patient who had fallen in the kitchen and suffered a fatal intracranial hemorrhage.
Pradaxa Lawsuit Status
According to Pradaxa attorneys, a preliminary hearing was held on October 3, 2012 to determine a management plan for distributing and handling the Pradaxa lawsuits currently pending against the manufacturer. These cases have recently been consolidated into a single court before Judge David R. Herndon. Specific dates have been scheduled for five separate bellwether trials to allow both parties to predict how future claims may be settled. The first of the trials will begin in August 2014 with the remaining four scheduled for September 2014, November 2014, January 2015 and February 2015.
Injured? Contact a Pradaxa Attorney Today
If you or a loved one experienced internal bleeding or other adverse health complications while taking Pradaxa, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and recover damages for your condition. The Pradaxa attorneys at the Johnson & Vines Law Firm believe that when a manufacturer introduces a pharmaceutical to the public, it is that company’s responsibility to ensure that it is reasonably safe to consume or use or, at the very least, it clearly states adequate warnings to inform the public of potential side effects or risks. Plaintiffs are currently working with Pradaxa attorneys across the U.S. to file lawsuits and seek compensation for loss of companionship, lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and medical expenses. Contact the Johnson & Vines Law Firm today to learn more about your legal rights.