Pradaxa is a brand name for a drug called dabigatran. Pradaxa is an oral medication intended to prevent the formation of blood clots and to reduce the risk of stroke. Patients with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart beat) are often prescribed Pradaxa because their condition causes them to be at greater risk of clot and stroke.
When first released, Pradaxa and another drug were heralded as the first advancement in 50+ years because they finally provided a replacement for warfarin, a drug with many unpleasant side-effects including brain hemorrhages and dangerous bleeding. Pradaxa was widely prescribed to heart patients who began to take the anti-clotting blood thinner on an ongoing basis, typically twice daily.
Unfortunately for patients prescribed Pradaxa, the drug may be causing more health problems than it solves. In fact, some evidence indicates that Pradaxa may be just as bad for patients, if not worse, than the time-tested treatment it was created to replace. In fact, on June 6, 2012, the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices revealed that Pradaxa is one of the top 10 drugs most frequently reported to the FDA for causing adverse side effects. Many patients who have begun experiencing these side effects have filed lawsuits against the makers of Pradaxa to hold the company responsible for the injury caused. If you or a loved one has taken Pradaxa and experienced side effects, the Boston personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help you to take legal action.Pradaxa Side Effects
When a drug has side effects, manufacturers are required to provide a warning to patients about the risks. For Pradaxa, the declared risks include unusual bleeding or bruising; discolored urine or stools; coughing up blood; vomiting blood; nosebleeds; bleeding from the gums; heavy menstrual bleeding; difficulty clotting when cut; joint pain; swelling of the joints; dizziness; headaches; weakness; rash or hives; itchy; breathing problems; and swelling of the extremities. The FDA provides details on these risks to Pradaxa patients and a warning is included with the medication.
These risks, however, are only the beginning of the dangers that have come to light for those taking Pradaxa. Since the drug has been on the market, patients have begun to experience significant medical problems. The link between Pradaxa and life-threatening complications has been reported and confirmed by a number of reliable medical sources. For example:
- According to WebMD, Researchers from Cleveland clinic determined that patients taking Pradaxa have a 33 percent greater risk of having a heart attack or exhibiting severe symptoms of heart disease compared to patients taking warfarin, the medication traditionally used to reduce the risk of clots and strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation.
- According to CBS News, the FDA is investigating a large number of reported incidents of serious bleeding that are linked to Pradaxa. In response to the risk of serious bleeding incidents, both Australia and Japan have issued safety warnings.
Patients with kidney problems or impaired renal function are significantly more likely to experience these and other complications when taking Pradaxa. As a result, the Institute for Safe Medication practices issued a warning that Pradaxa doses had to be adjusted to account for renal impairment.The Dangers of Pradaxa
The potential side effects of Pradaxa are serious, which accounts for the high number of complaints made to the FDA. In the report from the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices, it was revealed that:
- The FDA received 3,781 complaints about Pradaxa in 2011.
- 542 complaints indicated that Pradaxa had caused death.
- 2,367 complaints indicated that Pradaxa had caused hemorrhage.
- 291 complaints linked Pradaxa to acute renal failure.
- 644 complaints indicated Pradaxa had caused a stroke.
- 15 of the complaints indicated a potential link to liver failure.
The purpose of tracking these complaints is to identify dangerous drugs and to prompt FDA investigation of medications that receive a large number of complaints. The fact that so many complaints were made about Pradaxa indicates that many patients are suffering serious health problems from a drug that is supposed to help them.
These health problems can cause significant loss, even in patients lucky enough to survive Pradaxa side effects. Patients who have a stroke or who have a heart attack or develop other medical problem may require expensive medical care, in some cases for the rest of their lives. They may experience significant pain and the quality of their life may be seriously diminished. Their careers may be ended and they may have no way to work to support their family.
Of course, in the event that a patient dies, the surviving family members will also experience significant loss, including the loss of financial and emotional support and companionship.Boston Personal Injury Attorneys Help Pradaxa Patients
When a defective drug harms you, the manufacturer can be held accountable. Drug makers may be held legally responsible for side effects that they failed to warn patients about as well as for the consequences of complications that develop when patients are taking the drug as prescribed.
Holding drugmakers accountable is important so that you aren’t left uncompensated for financial and emotional loss and so that drugmakers are held accountable for bringing dangerous products to the marketplace.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our Boston personal injury attorneys have extensive experience representing patients who have been injured by Pradaxa and other dangerous drugs. Contact us today to learn about your legal rights and to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.
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