Xarelto and Liver Damage
When first brought onto the market in 2011, Xarelto was notable for being a once-daily blood thinner which did not have to be regularly monitored and adjusted by a doctor. However, soon after the drug became available to the public, issues began to arise related to the safety of the medication. Severe side effects were seen in many patients, and fatalities even resulted from uncontrolled bleeding linked to Xarelto. While it is the bleed issue that has gained most of the attention – and has led to thousands of lawsuits – there is also a risk of liver damage for those who take Xarelto.
Who Takes Xarelto?
Before discussing the possibility of liver damage, we need to quickly touch on what it is that Xarelto is used to treat. Many of the patients who are prescribed Xarelto by their doctors are suffering from atrial fibrillation. In addition, Xarelto can be recommended when the risk of a pulmonary embolism is in place, or when deep vein thrombosis exists. Generally speaking, any condition which can be improved or lessened by the use of a blood thinner is a possible application for Xarelto.
Taking a Risk
Xarelto has become a controversial drug in large part due to the lack of an antidote available for treating patients who have a severe reaction to the drug. If someone who is currently taking Xarelto finds that they are struck with a serious side effect, there is no antidote which can reverse the effects of Xarelto. This is why the bleeding issue has been so disastrous in many cases, as those who begin to bleed are difficult to treat without the presence of an antidote.
Potential Liver Damage
Most individuals who choose to use Xarelto to treat an existing condition are aware of the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. While that risk is still very real, it is something that most people are aware of before they begin taking the drug. That is not necessarily the case with the possibility of liver damage, however. Xarelto has the potential to damage your liver, and yet many who take this medication are not aware of that underlying risk.
Liver damage or the potential for liver damage can be spotted through the analysis of liver enzymes in blood tests. More than two percent of a test group of Xarelto patients showed elevated levels of liver enzymes in one study. Other studies have returned similar information with regard to the potential of liver damage. While liver damage is not something that will be experienced by all Xarelto users, it is a risk which should be weighed carefully.
Lack of Monitoring
One of the advantages to choosing Xarelto over an alternative medication such as warfarin is the lack of required blood testing. Without having to go in for periodic blood tests to alter the dose of their medication, patients can stay away from the doctor’s office more frequently. However, without monitoring, Xarelto patients may be unaware that they are doing damage to their liver. This means Xarelto use could go on for an extended period of time before there is any indication that liver damage is being incurred. At that point, the damage may be quite serious and could lead to other associated health issues.
Signs of a Problem
Those on Xarelto should watch for warning signs of potential liver problems. It is commonly seen that liver issues will arise after between one and six months of use, and it is more likely that males will have liver dysfunction as compared to women. Basic signs of liver failure can include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and disorientation. Other, more serious signs include jaundice and uncontrolled bleeding. If any of these signs become present while you or a loved one is on Xarelto, you need to seek medical attention promptly.
If Xarelto use is continued and the liver continues to be damaged, there are a number of potential outcomes which could result in the long run. Not surprisingly, excessive bleeding is one of those connected outcomes. In addition, hypoglycemia can develop as the liver is no longer able to perform its basic functions properly. Potentially, kidney failure and even death can be the end result in severe cases.
It is important to understand that the risks of using Xarelto extend beyond the uncontrolled bleeding that has been the cause of so many lawsuits. While that remains a major concern and point of legal debate, there are also other serious side effects to weigh, such as liver damage. Those considering the use of Xarelto need to think carefully about the potential side effects and speak with their doctor before being treatment. If other options are available for blood thinning needs, those medications may come along with fewer potential side effects.
Anyone who has been injured by the use of Xarelto may wish to consider legal action against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer. Given the controversy surrounding this drug and the many lawsuits which have piled up in recent years, it seems that countless people have been harmed in some form or fashion by Xarelto. If the use of Xarelto led to missing work and medical bills, or if it led to the death of a loved one, legal action may enable you to obtain the damages you deserve. While there is no guarantee of receiving compensation, it does make sense to review all legal options before deciding how to proceed.