Xarelto – a popular blood thinning medication released in 2011 – is at the center of hundreds of lawsuits that allege the makers of the drug did not adequately inform the public of the risks associated with it. Until recently the majority of cases being filed had to do with internal bleeding issues, which were sometimes fatal.
But now a FLorida man taking Xarelto died from a stroke four days after starting the drug. The daughter of the man filed suit in Philadelphia claiming the anticoagulant did not work as Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals advertised. This is the first lawsuit that links the drug to a failure in preventing a stroke. The Florida man who died had atrial fibrillation.
The drug was approved by the FDA in 2011 for use in cases of atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke. However, one of the reviewers at the time actually recommended against approval. Surprisingly, the reviewer also wrote that patients taking Xarelto may be at greater risk of stroke and bleeding.
The first stroke lawsuit connected to Xarelto alleges the way the drug is prescribed makes patients vulnurable to these side effects for at least part of the day. The drug is normally only taken once per day, whereas other blood thinners are taken twice daily. In 2014 a study showed that the amount of the drug in a person’s body fluctuated significantly.