Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is a prescription anticoagulant (blood thinner) used to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (heart rhythm disorder). The drug is taken by more than 1.4 million people. Manufactured by Bayer and marketed by Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Xarelto is also approved to help reduce the risk of and to treat blood clotting issues associated with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Side Effects
While bleeding is a common complication associated with anticoagulants, it is alleged that Xarelto is more dangerous than traditional blood thinners because no antidote exists to reverse its blood-thinning effects. In comparison, Warfarin can be reversed with a dose of Vitamin K. Patients risk irreversible bleeding problems such as internal and gastrointestinal hemorrhaging, both of which can be fatal. Other side effects include pulmonary embolism and stroke.
Despite these safety concerns, neither the manufacturer nor the FDA has issued a recall of Xarelto.
Percentage of Xarelto Patients who Experience Bleeding
The safety of Xarelto compared to warfarin was determined in the clinical trial, ROCKET AF, which involved over 7,000 people. Researchers found the following rates of internal bleeding:
- Major bleeding: Xarelto (5.6%) – Warfarin (5.4%)
- Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding: Xarelto (3.1%) – Warfarin (2%)
- Bleeding in a critical organ: Xarelto (1.3%) – Warfarin (1.9%)
- Fatal bleeding: Xarelto (0.4%) – Warfarin (0.8%)
- Bleeding resulting in transfusion: Xarelto (2.6%) – Warfarin (2.1%)
Xarelto Patients with Acute Illnesses have Higher Bleeding Risk
A study by Reuters in April 2011 compared Xarelto to Lovenox in patients hospitalized for acute medical conditions, such as difficulty breathing, disease, and heart failure. The study found that patients taking Xarelto had higher rates of bleeding and were more than twice as likely to experience bleeding compared to Lovenox. 4.1% of patients taking Xarelto, compared to 1.7% taking Lovenox.
Do I Have a Xarelto Lawsuit?
If you or someone you love has taken Xarelto and suffered from any of the issues above, you may have an Xarelto claim. Please contact Knutson+Casey Xarelto lawsuit attorney Randy Knutson by e-mail or phone at (507) 344-8888.