In December of 2011, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would formally investigate whether internal bleeding is occurring more frequently than expected in patients taking Pradaxa, an anticoagulant prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with certain heart conditions. Some patients injured by Pradaxa have already filed personal injury lawsuits.
Pradaxa risk of internal bleeding may be five times higher than reported
The body stops bleeding through coagulation, a process by which blood clots together almost instantly after an injury to block the flow of blood from the blood vessel. Some people develop abnormalities involving blood clots, however, which can be fatal. Thrombosis occurs when blood clots obstruct the flow of blood within the circulatory system and embolisms occur when blood clots become dislodged and move to block blood flow in blood vessels elsewhere in the body. These thrombotic events can lead to cell death in parts of the body where blood cannot flow, and a heart attack if the coronary artery is blocked.
To prevent thrombosis and embolism, anticoagulant drugs such as Pradaxa are prescribed to keep blood from clotting. However, this increases the risk of bleeding that cannot be stopped by the body or by doctors after accidents which would not be serious for a patient who was not taking them.
- External bleeding can lead to death in patients taking blood thinners by causing hemorrhagic shock, in which there are not enough circulating red blood cells to provide oxygen to the body.
- Blood from internal bleeding can compress organs and cause them to dysfunction. For example, the pressure caused by internal bleeding in the brain can damage brain tissue and cause stroke-like symptoms, coma, or death.
When Pradaxa was approved, it was thought to cause internal bleeding at a rate similar to Warfarin, the most common alternative blood-thinning medication. However, the incidence of catastrophic internal bleeding may be up to five times what was previously reported. Unlike Warfarin, there is no specific way to stop internal bleeding in patients taking Pradaxa. This means that accidents that would not be fatal to patients on Warfarin might be to those on Pradaxa.
Signs of internal bleeding from pradaxa
If you or a loved one has taken Pradaxa, it’s crucial that you know the signs of internal hemorrhaging. You may be suffering a Pradaxa injury if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Coughing up blood
- Blood in stool or urine
- Recurring nosebleeds
- Abnormally heavy menstruation
- Vomit appearing pink or like coffee grounds
Contact a Pradaxa Injury Lawyer Now
Pradaxa injuries are not to be taken lightly. If you or a relative has suffered harmful side effects while using Pradaxa, you may be eligible for compensation. Call toll-free (866) 981-4800 or fill out the form to the right to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our Pradaxa lawyers.