A Dangerous Proposition
Many people have turned to Xarelto and other members of the “new generation” of blood thinners. They are moving away from the long-established medication Coumadin (the brand name of the drug Warfarin) because that drug requires regular monitoring to make sure it is working correctly and to protect against sudden hemorrhaging. Xarelto users don’t require the same intense monitoring as Coumadin users.
That trade-off comes with a major risk, however. Coumadin users who suffer a “sudden bleeding event” can be treated with vitamin K in order to stop the bleeding. There is no such antidote for Xarelto. While vitamin K can reverse Coumadin’s blood-thinning properties and allow blood to clot, it has no such effect on Xarelto.
As a result, patients who suffer a sudden hemorrhage are at a substantial risk of suffering severe complications or even death.
More and more plaintiffs are suing Bayer (the manufacturer of Xarelto) as well as Janssen Pharmaceuticals (the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that markets the drug in the U.S.). Plaintiffs claim that the drug should not have been introduced to the public without the availability of an antidote and that the defendants negligently claimed that monitoring was not needed. They say monitoring is needed in order to lower the risk of a Xarelto “bleed-out.” In addition, Plaintiffs allege that Xarelto came to market without any warning that an antidote was not available.