Articles Tagged with blood thinner

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Two recent news stories shed more light on the anticoagulant Xarelto, the risks those who use it face and the problems that arose during a study comparing it to an older drug, warfarin. Xarelto is the subject of lawsuits by some users and surviving family members of users whose deaths may be related to the drug. The legal claims are largely based on incidents of uncontrolled bleeding that caused serious injuries or deaths.

People with an abnormal heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation who use Xarelto may be running a slightly greater chance of serious bleeding compared to those using the competing anticoagulant Pradaxa, according to WebMD. Many patients with atrial fibrillation use an anticoagulant to lessen the chance of suffering a stroke. Their downside is a risk of potentially fatal, uncontrollable bleeding.

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XareltoYou’ve probably seen the commercials. The most vivid to me was the one with Arnold Palmer, Kevin Nealon, and Brian Vickers. They are playing a round of golf and speaking to each other in shockingly sophisticated ways about the many benefits and occasional side effects of the drug Xarelto. These guys sound like pharmacists or physicians, not athletes and comedians. It is a perfect example of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing.

Xarelto quickly became a blockbuster drug when it hit the market in 2011. Xarelto (or rivaroxaban) was approved for sale by the FDA in July 2011. It was supposed to represent the next major advancement in blood thinning (anti-coagulant) medication. Xarelto was developed to prevent serious conditions that sometimes arise after surgeries (such as artificial hip and knee surgeries). As an anti-coagulant, it was intended to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and strokes. The patients Xarelto was intended to help were those with atrial fibrillation (or irregular heartbeat), who were a group of people more vulnerable to PE, DVT, and stroke after surgery. Eventually, the FDA expanded approval of Xarelto to treat all patients with PE and DVT and atrial fibrillation.

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