Based on physician orders, our client was switched from warfarin to Xarelto to manage an atrial fibrillation ("A-fib") problem.
What is A-Fib and How Can Medicine Help?
Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat. Because of the irregular rhythm, blood can pool in the heart and may lead to life-threatening blood clots that can cause stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms—blood clots in the lungs—or death. Warfarin has been prescribed for half a century to treat a-fib and other blood clotting disorders. Unlike Xarelto, warfarin has a known and highly effective antidote to treat uncontrolled bleeding caused by taking the drug.
No One Told Our Client of the Risk
Our client was told that switching to Xarelto meant there would no longer be a requirement for frequent blood tests that are needed when a patient is taking Warfarin. However, our client was never told about the devastating episodes of uncontrolled bleeding that can be caused by Xarelto and, more importantly, that when a patient suffers from such a bleed, there is often no treatment to stop it.
Our client began taking Xarelto as prescribed, and within months had some minor abdominal pain. Our client's family doctor dismissed the pain and prescribed an antacid. The pain persisted for another day, and then our client started to experience lightheadedness. This time our client were taken to the emergency department and diagnosed with internal bleeding. It was later determined the bleeding was due to Xarelto. Unfortunately the bleeding could not be controlled and the patient sustained severe permanent gastrointestinal injuries and massive medical bills.
Our firm is preparing to file suit against the manufacturer of Xarelto concerning the injuries.