Some prescription drugs can hurt more than they help. A good example is Pradaxa (dabigatran), which is a blood thinning medication approved by the FDA. It is meant to lower the chance of a stroke in people suffering from non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib). It works by reducing the blood’s ability to form clots. In contrast to other blood thinners like Heparin, Pradaxa doesn’t have a counteracting drug to stop the bleeding if a patient using the drug is cut. Some 1.1 million prescriptions for Pradaxa were distributed by pharmacies in the United States between October 2010 and August 2011.
Patients using Pradaxa experience serious bleeding more often than users of other blood-thinning medications. From March 2008 to October 2011, approximately 260 cases of fatal bleeding occurred in Pradaxa users according to the drug’s manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim.
Patients with the highest risk for abnormal bleeding include the following groups:
- People with pre-existing kidney problems
- Patients over the age of 75
- People with ulcers or stomach bleeding
- Patients taking drugs that raise the risk of bleeding, such as other blood thinners, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or aspirin
Patients using Pradaxa should contact their primary care physicians right away if they experience any of these symptoms:
- Vomiting blood
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Red or black stools
- Brown or pink urine
- Frequent nose bleeds
If you’re taking Pradaxa, don’t stop taking it until you’ve spoken with your physician because you might increase your risk of a stroke. Before undergoing surgery or dental work, notify your healthcare professional that you take Pradaxa.
If you’ve suffered severe bleeding that required hospitalization or if a loved one has died from cerebral hemorrhaging, contact us at Phillips Law Offices. We can let you know if you’re entitled to compensation. Big pharmaceutical companies have a battery of attorneys representing them. We’ll stand beside you and fight for your rights if you’ve been injured by Pradaxa.