The new generation blood thinner drug Xarelto (Rivaroxiban) carries some very serious and potentially deadly side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding (also known as GI bleeds.)
When taking an anti-coagulant drug like Xarelto, gastrointestinal bleeds can occur both in the upper and lower GI tract, posing a serious risk to the patient. If left untreated, the gastrointestinal bleed may continue unabated, ultimately reaching a critical point when blood loss becomes severe.
Regarded as a relatively common complication of Xarelto, gastrointestinal bleeding can result in hospitalization and in some cases, death.
What is Xarelto and How Does it Cause GI Bleeds?
Xarelto is a blood thinner medication known as a Xa inhibitor. This drug works by inhibiting thrombin, a substance that’s required to allow for clotting.
While many think of blood clots as a negative occurrence, clotting is actually required in order to survive an injury or ailment that involves blood loss. The red blood cells clump together, forming a clot, which prevents further blood loss by essentially plugging up the damage in the capillary, vessel or vein. When blood clotting is no longer possible due to a Xa inhibitor such as Xarelto, the body has no mechanism through which to stop the flow of blood.
This makes Xarelto and gastrointestinal bleeding a potentially dangerous — or even deadly — combination.
Gastrointestinal bleeding is actually fairly commonplace, which explains why it’s among the most common Xarelto side effects. Gastrointestinal bleeding can occur in one of two areas: the upper GI tract and the lower GI tract.
The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach and a portion of the small intestine. When bleeding occurs in this area, you may experience some abdominal tenderness, stomach upset which can cause the patient to vomit blood, along with darkened or even black, “tarry” stools (the blood is no longer fresh by the time it reaches the colon, hence the black, tar-like appearance.)
The lower GI tract includes the lower portion of the small intestine, the large intestine, the bowels, the rectum and the anus. When bleeding occurs in the lower gastrointestinal tract, symptoms may include a firm, painful abdomen and visible blood in feces.
Xarelto Gastrointestinal Bleeding Symptoms & Conditions
Xarelto gastrointestinal bleeding is actually amongst the most common side effects of this powerful drug.
GI bleeds can occur due to many different conditions, including:
- Esophageal erosion from chronic acid reflux
- Gastric or stomach ulcer bleeding
- Rectal/anal bleeding from hemorrhoids
- Bleeding intestinal polyps
- Bleeds arising from anal fissures
- Crohn’s disease-related bleeds
- Bleeding from ulcerative colitis
- Diverticulosis-related bleeding
- Broken blood vessels in the lining of the intestine
- ….and beyond.
In most cases, Xarelto does not trigger the gastrointestinal bleeding. Rather, the bleeding arises as a result of an underlying condition or problem. In many cases, an individual may not even realize that they’re experiencing chronic gastrointestinal bleeding. It’s a condition that can easily go undetected until the bleeding becomes moderate to severe. If Xarelto is added to the equation, it can result in a deadly condition.
Xarelto’s effects of thinning the blood create a perfect storm scenario. The anti-coagulant medication prevents blood clots from forming, so the bleeding continues indefinitely. This leads to an uncontrolled bleeding situation which can ultimately turn fatal, especially if the bleeding becomes moderate or heavy.
Xarelto Gastrointestinal Bleeding Symptoms
Symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding on Xarelto can take a number of different forms, including:
- abdominal pain
- a hard abdomen
- vomiting blood
- bloody stool
- black, tar-like stool
- very pale complexion
- extreme tiredness
Treatment for Xarelto gastrointestinal bleeding can be quite challenging because there is no antidote or reversal agent for this blood thinner drug.
If you or a loved one experienced internal bleeding or other Xarelto side effects, you could have a viable legal case against the drug’s manufacturer. Currently, as of September 2015, there are more than 1200 Xarelto lawsuits filed as part of the multi-district litigation (MDL) case that is now moving forward in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, under the direction of Judge Eldon Fallon.
Don’t delay in contacting the compassionate team here at The Meldofsky Firm, as the law limits how long you have to take action. Our legal professionals will review and evaluate your case in a prompt manner, so call The Meldofsky Firm today at 877-274-8672.