Pradaxa® is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2010 to help prevent strokes among patients with atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat). This medication is a new kind of direct thrombin inhibitor anticoagulant (blood thinner) that works by attaching to clotting agents and reducing the blood’s ability to clot and cause a stoke.
For many patients, Pradaxa® is attractive because it does not require monthly blood tests, as opposed to traditional anti-coagulants. However, in the 10 months after Pradaxa® was introduced into the marketplace, a number of serious injures were reported. These complications ranged from bleeding injuries and heart attacks to kidney problems and liver dysfunction.
If you or a loved one has been injured by Pradaxa®, you may have the right to sue for damages. An experienced Pradaxa® injury attorney can help you through the claims process.
Bleeding Risk of Pradaxa®
Because it is a blood thinner, Pradaxa® inherently carries the risk of excessive bleeding. With traditional anti-coagulants, an antidote has been created to counteract internal bleeding and hemorrhaging associated with these medications. It’s true that Pradaxa® was designed to pose less of a bleeding risk, as it will not react with certain foods the way other blood thinners like Warfarin can. However, there is no current antidote to counteract
Pradaxa®-caused bleeding, making this medication incredibly dangerous if hemorrhaging does occur.
This bleeding risk has led to a number of bleeding injuries, including more than 260 deaths around the world.
Signs of a Bleeding Complication
Patients do not always realize they are suffering a bleeding complication, as internal bleeding can have subtle warning signs. If you are taking Pradaxa®, be aware of the symptoms of internal bleeding, such as:
- Urine that is pink or brown
- Muscle fatigue or weakness
- Frequent nosebleeds or bleeding from the gums
- Red or black-colored stools
- Unusual or persistent headaches
- Bleeding from the gums
- Joint pain or swelling
- Menstrual or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal
Who is at Risk?
Patients ages 75 and above are at greatest risk for Pradaxa®-related bleeding and other complications. Other risk factors include those with recurring stomach or intestinal bleeding, kidney issues and patients with a long-term history of using aspirin or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).