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Xarelto MDL Gathers Steam

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Anaheim, CAIf you thought the number of Xarelto lawsuits filed was about to slow down, you might have to think again. In the past month, another 400 or so lawsuits have been added to the Xarelto multidistrict litigation, alleging patients suffered serious Xarelto side effects, including uncontrolled bleeding.

According to court documents, 1,231 lawsuits have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in MDL 2592 (In Re: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation) as of August 17, 2015. That’s up from 805 lawsuits consolidated as of July 15, 2015 and well up from the around 500 lawsuits consolidated in June. Consolidation of lawsuits is done when lawsuits share similar questions of fact and is not a comment on the merits of the individual suits.

In the case of Xarelto, lawsuits allege patients suffered serious bleeding events and were not adequately warned that use of Xarelto could result in uncontrolled bleeding.

Xarelto is a blood thinner, used to reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes. It is among a newer generation of anticoagulants and has been marketed as a safe and effective medication. Many patients have been prescribed Xarelto in place of warfarin (known by the brand name Coumadin) because it is reportedly easier to use and doesn’t require regular blood monitoring.

But critics argue that Xarelto patients should have their blood monitored because there is still a risk of uncontrolled bleeding. And when Xarelto came out, it did not come with an antidote to bleeding events. Warfarin, conversely, has an antidote in the form of vitamin K, so patients who developed bleeding events could be given vitamin K to counteract the blood thinning effects of warfarin.

Despite the lack of an antidote, Xarelto is also reportedly more expensive than warfarin. Critics maintain that Xarelto has no added benefit over warfarin and comes with a similar risk of serious bleeding events but with no antidote.

This means that relatively minor injuries could become serious for patients taking Xarelto, which is what lawsuits allege has happened. The maker of Xarelto has already faced a warning letter from the FDA (in 2013) for minimizing the risks associated with the medication.

The lawsuits are filed against Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Xarelto, alleging the companies knew or should have known about the risks associated with their drug.

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READER COMMENTS

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I am a 45 year old female prescribed x are to for a pulmonary embolism. While on x are to I began having extreme abnormal prolonged periods. It got to the point where I required a blood Transfusion and ultimately required a hysterectomy as x are to and fibroid cannot coexist. I would bleed to the point where going to work was hard and costly... I had to carry an extra set of pants and wear a tampon with a depends. It was humiliating and emotionally draining. My iron remained low and sex was out of the question as I bled for 21 days with a 2 day break inbetween.. it was horrible.

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