Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is a blood thinner drug prescribed to prevent blood clots and pulmonary embolism in a number of different conditions, like deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT, along with a heart rhythm condition called non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
One of the more common side effects of Xarelto is gastrointestinal bleeding. Xarelto side effects can also include a more dramatic and frightening event: coughing up or vomiting blood.
Side Effects of Xarelto: GI Bleeding and Vomiting Blood
As a new generation anticoagulant drug, Xarelto is a Xa inhibitor, which inhibits thrombin, a component that’s critical for allowing red blood cells to clump together and form clots. This can result in uncontrolled bleeding, both internally and externally.
This side effect of Xarelto is especially problematic in the gastrointestinal tract, which extends from your esophagus, to your stomach, through to your small and large intestines, colon and rectum. Anything you swallow can potentially damage the GI tract and any inflammation can cause ulceration and sores, which may bleed uncontrollably due to the blood thinning properties of Xarelto.
Intestinal bleeding and other internal bleeding is compounded by the fact that there is often little surrounding muscle or tissue to exert pressure on the bleed. In the case of a soft tissue injury, the skin and muscles swell, and this exerts natural pressure on the site of the wound or injury, but this does not occur with internal organs. Pressure is one of the only other ways to stop bleeding when blood won’t clot (either due to a blood thinner drug like Xarelto or due to a medical condition like hemophilia.)
Vomiting blood can be very frightening, especially since the amount of blood can appear to be significantly larger than it actually. This occurs because the blood may be mixed with other gastric fluids.
While on Xarelto, vomiting blood can be life-threatening due to the lack of a Xarelto reversal agent or antidote.
Coughing up or vomiting blood can take a few different forms, including the following.
Vomiting red “fresh” blood
This typically indicates very recent or active bleeding in the esophagus or stomach.
Vomiting coffee grounds-like substance
This is “old” blood which has started to congeal. The natural congealing process causes the coffee grounds-like consistency (though this may be diminished in someone who’s taking a blood thinner medication like Xarelto, as blood clotting is partially responsible for causing the blood to congeal into a coffee grounds-like consistency. The dark color arises due to exposure to air and other conditions outside of the cardiovascular system. The brown-black color of the blood suggests that the gastrointestinal bleeding occurred at least a few hours prior to the vomiting incident.
Vomiting a red blood and coffee grounds-like substance
This typically indicates an esophageal or stomach bleed that has been occurring for several hours. The fresh red blood suggests that the bleeding is still actively occurring, while the coffee grounds-like texture of the older blood indicates that some of the blood has been in the GI tract for a longer period of time.
Notably, the coughing up or vomiting coffee grounds-like material without the presence of red blood doesn’t necessarily indicate that the bleed has now stopped. Since the blood takes on the appearance of coffee grounds after several hours, many may assume that vomiting only this substance would suggest that the bleed has stopped. But patients may not realize that they may have only vomited a portion of the blood that escaped, so it’s possible that additional “fresh” blood may be present in your system; blood that would indicate an active or very recent bleed.
While on Xarelto, vomiting blood can indicate a life-threatening situation. If you observe or experience this or any other side effects of Xarelto, it’s essential that you consult your physician and seek medical attention immediately.
Xarelto Lawsuits Due to Severe Side Effects
If you or a loved one experienced a serious Xarelto side effect, such as intestinal bleeding or another form of internal bleeding, you may be eligible for financial compensation to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other financial losses.
The experienced team at The Meldofsky Firm specialize in Xarelto lawsuits and other product liability cases, amongst others. Our compassionate legal team will speak with you to understand your case, then we can provide you with an evaluation and consultation concerning the viability of your claim.
Contact The Meldofsky Firm today to discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation. But remember to act soon because the law places a limit on how long you have to file a legal claim. Call The Meldofsky Firm at 877.274.8642.