New Orleans Pradaxa Side Effects Attorneys – Risk of Excessive Bleeding
Pradaxa is an anticoagulant medication typically prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat. Pradaxa was approved by the FDA in October 2010 and is marketed as a safer and more convenient alternative to existing blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin). Pradaxa is manufactured and sold by Boehringer Ingelheim, a privately-held German company. Even though Pradaxa has only been on the market for two years, more than 1.1 million prescriptions have been written for the drug, and it is believed that more than 370,000 people are currently taking Pradaxa regularly.
RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
As with other blood thinners, Pradaxa increases the risk of excessive bleeding in patients who take it. However, Pradaxa is far more dangerous than traditional blood thinners for two important reasons. First, and most importantly, Pradaxa has no known reversal agent or antidote. While doctors can treat Coumadin bleeding events with reversal agents, such as Vitamin K, there is no similar treatment available for patients taking Pradaxa. That means that bleeding incidents that might be little more than inconveniences for patients taking Coumadin can become life-threatening or even deadly events for individuals taking Pradaxa.
Second, there is no standard test to measure the anticoagulant effects of Pradaxa. One of the main “selling points” of Pradaxa is that, unlike Coumadin, it does not require dietary restrictions or regular monitoring with blood tests. However, this also means that doctors often cannot detect the risk of a Pradaxa bleeding event in advance, and patients may not receive medical attention for such events until their symptoms get so bad that they seek hospitalization or emergency attention. Unfortunately for many patients, by the time they realize what is happening, the bleeding has progressed to a dangerous level, and doctors can do little to control the hemorrhaging.
Beginning in late 2011, numerous lawsuits have been filed against Boehringer Ingelheim, accusing the company of hiding, or largely dismissing the serious, potentially deadly, flaws in its product — particularly that there is no effective way to treat patients who experience excessive bleeding while taking Pradaxa. In 2012, these lawsuits were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) before Judge David Herndon in the Southern District of Illinois.
UPDATE (June 2014): It was announced that after nearly two years of pretrial discovery and depositions, Pradaxa manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has agreed to pay $650 million to resolve a majority of claims by patients who suffered a bleeding event while taking Pradaxa – New York Times – $650 Million to Settle Blood Thinner Lawsuits.
The Olinde Firm is accepting qualifying Pradaxa bleeding event claims for a limited time. Because the right to sue for Pradaxa injuries is subject to time limitats, it is crucial that you act as soon as possible to be included and protect your rights.