Pradaxa is a newer drug, which came on the scene in the United States in 2010. The intent of Pradaxa is to thin the blood in order to reduce the risk of strokes. Unfortunately Pradaxa has also been connected with patients that have experienced excessive and uncontrolled bleeding as a result of taking the medication.
Pradaxa was originally designed to have fewer side effects than competing blood thinner medications. Pradaxa was also promoted as a blood thinner drug that required less maintenance. Within a few short years of being on the market as a widely used blood thinner medication, Pradaxa has been tied to at least five hundred deaths. The deaths were reported to have been the result of uncontrollable hemorrhaging.
Additionally Pradaxa has other serious side effects involving the liver and the heart. The most prevalent negative side effect is uncontrolled bleeding which can cause brain hemorrhages, which manifest much like the effects of a stroke. This is painfully ironic since Pradaxa has been marketed as a medication intended to prevent strokes.
The publication QuarterWatch, which is a non-profit institution established to ensure the practice of safe medicine, reported many negative reports on Pradaxa in the year 2011. According to combined reports from the FDA and QuarterWatch over 3,500 adverse experiences associated with the medication were reported in 2011. Of those reports over 500 resulted in death.
Increased risk of angina and heart attacks has also been attributed to Pradaxa. According to research performed in 2012 the clinical trials found an increased risk of heart attacks for patients taking Pradaxa. The results of the research prompted advisement for medical professionals to seriously consider the potential harmful cardiovascular results from taking Pradaxa. There were similar studies that year resulting in the same increased cardiovascular risk warnings.
Additionally in 2011 Pradaxa was linked to issues related to internal bleeding when the patient fell or experienced what would be considered a minor injury. If a patient falls while taking Pradaxa it may require an extended stay in the hospital to get the bleeding back under control.
Families who have had to deal with the serious and sometimes fatal side effects of Pradaxa are filing product liability lawsuits. These federal lawsuits are large in number since an alarming number of patients taking Pradaxa have suffered with serious side effects. What may be the most disturbing fact is that there is no known treatment for bringing the bleeding back under control in a timely manner once Pradaxa has caused the excessive bleeding. Other blood thinning medications can be controlled by the use of vitamin K to stop excessive amounts of bleeding, but this is not the case with Pradaxa.
It is deplorable that in light of these serious risks the best that the pharmaceutical companies can say is that they are currently “working on” the antidote for the unintended hemorrhaging caused by Pradaxa. Medical professionals keep a close watch on patients in order to monitor symptoms such as anemia or renal malfunction to determine if internal bleeding is a problem. This may be the only line of defense for patients who are faced with the risks associated with Pradaxa.