Is There an Antidote for Xarelto?
Xarelto is an anticoagulant – blood thinner – which has been approved for sale in the United States since 2011. The drug has been prescribed to a large number of patients in the few years since its approval, and it has been controversial for nearly the entire time. Many patients have reported serious side effects from the use of Xarelto, and there have been deaths reported from uncontrolled bleeding believed to have been related to the use of this drug. Today, thousands of open lawsuits are ongoing due to the performance of this drug.
One of the most controversial aspects of the approval and use of Xarelto is the fact that there is no antidote available. If a patient taking Xarelto has a medical emergency of some kind, there is no antidote which can be used to reverse the effects that Xarelto has had on the blood. This, obvious, is cause for concern among many patients and prospective patients. Should a bleeding event take place, the medical staff treating the patient would have no antidote available to slow down or stop the flow of blood. It is likely the lack of an antidote which has led to so many severe cases of side effects leading to injury or death.
All blood thinners have inherent dangers, as reducing the blood’s ability to clot comes along with the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. However, other blood thinners – like warfarin – do have an antidote available. Patients on a drug like warfarin may have their health preserved by the use of an antidote during the midst of a bleeding event. Whether that bleeding is internal or external, reversing the effects of the blood thinning drug can help doctors to provide patients with the care they need.
The Need for Blood Thinners
While they do come with some inherent risk, blood thinners are an important class of drugs due to their ability to prevent or reduce the likelihood of blood clots in specific patients. For instance, patients with atrial fibrillation may be prescribed a blood thinner as a way to lessen the chances of a stroke. Also, patients who are recovering from an operation like a hip or knee replacement may be prescribed a blood thinner such as Xarelto to reduce the risk of a dangerous blood clot forming after the operation.
If your doctor is recommending the use of a blood thinner to treat a specific condition, you should ask questions regarding which blood thinner is the best option for your needs. It is obviously important to obtain the benefits of using a blood thinning drug, but it is also important to avoid dangerous side effects which could place your life in danger.
A Rejected Attempt
Recently, an antidote for the drug Xarelto was reviewed by the FDA. However, the drug – known as AndexXa – was not approved for use at this time. This drug has not been ruled out as a potential antidote for Xarelto at some point down the line, but the FDA ruled that more information would be required before an approval could be granted. So, with that outcome, it remains true that there is no antidote on the market for Xarelto. If the maker of AndexXa, a company called Portola, is able to achieve approval for this antidote, the outlook for future patients taking Xarelto could be altered.
The Appeal of Xarelto
With no available antidote for Xarelto, many patients may be pulled toward the use of warfarin because of the presence of an antidote with that medication. That is a logical choice, of course, but there are some advantages of using Xarelto which will take others in that direction. Specifically, it is the lack of ongoing blood testing which makes Xarelto so appealing to many patients.
When taking warfarin, patients have to return to their doctor for regular blood tests. These tests will analyze the blood and the doctor can then alter the dosage of warfarin being administered as a result of those tests. This allows warfarin to be used properly, but it also is time consuming and frustrating for many patients to undergo this testing. With Xarelto, no such testing procedure is in place. Instead, the patient is prescribed a specific dose and they continue to take that dose as prescribed. Therefore, the use of Xarelto is more convenient than warfarin, with many of the same benefits. As another advantage, most patients are able to take Xarelto without having to alter their diet in any way. The same cannot always be said for those who are taking warfarin.
The use of Xarelto is obviously appealing because of the convenience it provides, which is why so many patients began using it when it became available in 2011. However, the issue of having no antidote available still remains. Those who are taking Xarelto cannot rely on an antidote to help in the case of an uncontrolled bleeding event, and therefore it is possible to have serious complications or even death as a result of the use of this drug.
Anyone who has been harmed by Xarelto over the past few years may wish to consider taking legal action against the manufacturer of the drug. If you or a loved one has been harmed by this medication to the point where you have suffered a loss of some kind, it may be possible to be awarded damages after filing suit (or you may receive a settlement). No guarantees can be offered when it comes to taking legal action, but thousands are already taking this approach due to the harm they have suffered as a result of Xarelto side effects.