Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is a an anticoagulant drug prescribed to prevent blood clots, stroke and pulmonary embolism. This blood thinner drug is prescribed to patients with conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or heart rhythm disorders like non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
As with every blood thinner, Rivaroxaban – sold under the brand name Xarelto – a patient’s risk of excessive or uncontrollable bleeding is elevated while on this anticoagulant medication.
But unlike other blood thinning drugs, Xarelto reversal is not currently possible.
Xarelto Reversal: How Blood Thinner Drugs Work
As a new generation blood thinner drug, Xarelto is a Xa inhibitor, which inhibits the body’s production of thrombin, a component that’s critical in the clot formation process.
Thrombin is a protein-cutting enzyme that’s located in blood plasma. It triggers red blood cells to clump together by converting fibrinogen to fibrin. Blood clotting is a complex process, but the long and short of it is that thrombin is absolutely essential for this process. When a blood thinner like Xarelto is administered, thrombin production is halted and clot formation stops as a result.
While most are fairly familiar with the negative effects of blood clots, it’s not all bad. In fact, blood clotting actually serves a very vital role in maintaining your health. Blood clots are essential for blocking up damaged capillaries, along with plugging small defects in veins or vessels. The clots essentially plug up the damaged vascular structure, putting a halt to blood loss.
The body experiences lots of small bleeds on a regular basis. Even a small bump or other minor impact can cause capillary damage, resulting in an under-the-skin bleed that’s better known as a bruise. As a blood thinning drug, Xarelto prevents clots from forming, which means these small bleeds can continue unabated for long periods of time, resulting in significant blood loss.
This is especially problematic in the case of internal bleeding, which may not be apparent until the situation has progressed and advanced into a more serious, life-threatening situation. To compound matters, there is no Xarelto reversal agent or antidote available.
Xarelto Reversal Agents and Antidotes
As of September 2015, there was no available Xarelto reversal agent or antidote available.
Over 1200 lawsuits have been filed in U.S. District Court as part of a multi-district litigation (MDL) case against Xarelto’s manufacturers, claiming it was negligent to release a blood thinner drug without an antidote or reversal agent.
It’s also alleged that the anticoagulant drug’s manufacturers downplayed the risks. Some also claim that Xarelto benefits — such as a lack of dietary restrictions and blood monitoring — were overstated.
Notably, another new generation blood thinner drug, Pradaxa, works in a similar manner to Xarelto, but it can be reversed with emergency dialysis, to cleanse the drug from the blood, thereby restoring the thrombin that allows blood clotting to occur. This technique does not work for Xarelto reversal.
In the case of the so-called “tried and true” blood thinner drug, Warfarin / Coumadin, Vitamin K infusions serve as an antidote.
Xarelto patients do not have the option of an antidote or reversal agent; only time can cleanse the drug from the individual’s system. In a healthy patient, Xarelto is relatively short acting, but in a patient who’s older or less-than-healthy, it can take many hours or even days for the drug to clear from the system, allowing the body to resume normal blood clotting functions.
Since Xarelto reversal is not possible, there are very limited options for helping patients with serious internal bleeding, brain hemorrhaging or one of the other serious Xarelto complications. Physicians are generally limited to providing supportive care, such as fluid and blood infusions, along with other supportive measures designed to sustain the patient until normal blood clotting resumes.
This anticoagulant drug can also pose dangers for individuals who are seriously (and unexpectedly) injured or fall seriously ill to a degree that requires immediate emergency surgery, as they become susceptible to uncontrollable bleeding.
Filing a Lawsuit Due to a Lack of Xarelto Reversal Agent
The experienced legal team here at The Meldofsky Firm deals in product liability cases and Xarelto lawsuits. Did you or a loved one suffer uncontrolled bleeding on Xarelto? Side effects and complications have even led to a number of deaths.
Contact our compassionate legal team for a free, confidential case evaluation and consultation to determine if you may have a viable case. You may be eligible to receive financial compensation if you or a loved one experienced Xarelto side effects, required hospitalization and emergency treatment, or died from blood thinner complications.
Contact The Meldofsky Firm today. Remember, the law limits how long you have to file a legal claim, so it’s important to act soon.
Call The Meldofsky Firm at (877) 274.8642 or fill out our online form.