A man, who is a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court Southern District Of Ohio Cincinnati Division under case number 2:14-cv-02945-EEF-MBN. He alleges that the drug Xarelto has caused him permanent personal injuries.
The Plaintiff’s Complaint
The plaintiff was prescribed the blood thinner Xarelto by his doctor after he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). His doctors hoped to treat the DVT and reduce the chance of a second DVT occurring. He began taking the drug in May of 2014.
In September of 2014, he was rushed to the hospital after he vomited blood. He was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal bleed, which ended up being life threatening. In the majority of cases, GI bleeds are not life threatening, however, when the patient is on a blood thinner there is always a risk that they will exsanguinate. When a patient is bleeding excessively and has taken a blood thinner, doctors typically administer Vitamin K. However, when the patient is on Xarelto, Vitamin K doesn’t work. In fact, there is no known antidote for Xarelto.
The plaintiff received life-saving treatments, such as blood transfusions. Despite these treatments, he suffered from physical and mental anguish and ended up with large medical bills. He also lost wages due to an extended hospital stay.
The Allegations Against The Manufacturers
This plaintiff is alleging that Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of Xarelto, failed to protect consumers in several ways:
- They failed to properly research and define the safety profile for the drug.
- They failed to warn the public about the risks associated with the drug.
- They failed to warn consumers on the label that there is no known antidote for Xarelto.
- They failed to provide the medical community with information on how to stabilize a patient who is bleeding excessively while taking Xarelto.
This plaintiff isn’t alone. Thousands of patients across the country have filed complaints, each one alleging that the drug’s side effects caused a patient to suffer physically and emotionally. In some cases, the side effects resulted in a condition so severe that the patient passed away. Their families have pursued wrongful death lawsuits on their behalf.
Xarelto Side Effects
Numerous side effects have been noted in patients who use the blood thinner, including gastrointestinal bleeds, pulmonary embolisms, rectal bleeding, brain hemorrhage, spinal bleeding, and liver dysfunction.
It has also been determined that the drug does not interact well with many other over the counter and prescription medications such as:
- St. Johns’ wort
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also published a warning which indicated that the drug had not been tested in patients who have a prosthetic heart valve.
FDA “Black Box” Warnings
The FDA has released two official black box warnings for Xarelto. Black box warnings are the most serious warnings that the administration can publish for any product. The purpose of these warnings is to bring attention to the serious risks that are associated with the use of a product.
The first black box warning issued for Xarelto addressed the fact that patients who discontinue Xarelto quickly run the risk of developing blood clots. The second warning published informed the medical community and public that if a patient is supposed to undergo a spinal procedure, they should wait until the drug has completely left their system.
The Xarelto MDL
In December of 2014, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created MDL 2592, which consolidated all federally filed Xarelto lawsuits to a federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Congress created the MDL in 1968, in order to give the federal court backlog some relief. The panel reviews three things when considering if a consolidation will be appropriate or not:
- Do all cases involved have one or more questions of fact?
- Is the transfer for the convenience of all parties?
- Will a consolidation promote judicial efficiency and save everyone money?
The formation of the MDL does not prevent new lawsuits from being filed. Those who file have the opportunity to recover compensation for their physical and emotional suffering, medical expenses, and lost earnings.