Adverse Effects: Anticoagulants Top the List

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing medication error and identifying unsafe practices that lead to drug injury. In May of this year, the ISMP named anticoagulants the top drug risk in 2011. Why?

In a review based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data, the ISMP reported 179,855 adverse drug events across the country in 2011.  This represents a nine percent increase in serious or fatal drug events from 2010.  Further, the FDA estimates that less than one percent of serious events were reported directly.

As an established personal injury firm in Chicago, we represent clients injured in accidents, by malpractice, and by defective products and pharmaceuticals like Actos and Pradaxa.  According to the ISMP report, Pradaxa, followed by Coumadin, topped the list of injurious drugs in 2011.

The top three suspect drugs reported by the ISMP in 2011 are:

  • Dabigatran (brand name Pradaxa): anticoagulant
  • Warfarin (brand name Coumadin):  anticoagulant
  • Levofloxacin (brand name Levaquin):  antibiotic

Compelling statistics associated with Pradaxa include:

  • It was suspected in over 3,700 serious drug events and 542 patient deaths
  • It topped the injury categories for hemorrhage, renal failure and stroke, and was suspected in 15 reports of liver failure
  • Although a perennial high risk drug, Warfarin was suspected in only 1,106 cases, and associated with 72 patient deaths

Despite these injury rates, Pradaxa is still prescribed across the country.  If suffering from atrial fibrillation, ask your doctor if Pradaxa is right for you.  If already injured by Pradaxa, seek experienced legal advice.