Pradaxa (dabigatran) is an anticoagulant medication manufactured by drug firm Boehringer Ingelheim and available in the United States as a treatment for non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Throughout its time on the market, Pradaxa has been promoted by its manufacturing company as a superior alternative to warfarin, which has ruled the blood thinner market since 1954. Despite the celebration of sorts that accompanied Pradaxa’s arrival in the U.S. though, speculation about the safety of the medication began to circulate before the blood thinner had even spent a full year on the market. According to Pradaxa side effect studies, patients who take the anticoagulant may actually put themselves at risk of suffering from dangerous internal bleeding and possibly even death. If you took Pradaxa and have since suffered from serious hemorrhaging or another major side effect, contact a Pradaxa attorney for legal help.
Uses for Pradaxa
The blood thinner Pradaxa entered the market in October 2010 under the approval of the FDA, and was touted as the first drug to rival warfarin, a popular anticoagulant that has been on the market for nearly 60 years. Pradaxa was specifically designed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, a medical condition preventing a portion of the heart from beating properly. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart rhythm abnormality, and is responsible for one-third of all strokes. The cardiac irregularity is often associated with symptoms like chest pain, fainting and palpitations, although some patients may exhibit no symptoms of the condition.
Side Effects of Pradaxa
In September 2011, eleven months after Pradaxa was approved by the FDA, drug regulators in New Zealand launched an investigation into the side effects of Pradaxa. This investigation was fueled by reports that five elderly patients taking the blood thinner had died as a result of hemorrhaging and internal bleeding side effects. Drug regulators in Japan also voiced their concerns about Pradaxa side effects, sending a letter to Boehringer Ingelheim concerning 81 elderly patients who suffered from internal bleeding or hemorrhaging associated with Pradaxa between March 14 and August 11, resulting in five deaths. More recently, data gathered by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and released in a report earlier this year suggests that more instances of Pradaxa internal bleeding side effects were reported to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System during the first quarter of 2011 than were reported in associated with any other medication monitored by the group. According to the data, 505 cases of bleeding events linked to Pradaxa were reported, compared to only 176 cases associated with warfarin.
Consult Our Pradaxa Attorneys
The only way for patients to make educated decisions about which medications are safe for them to take is for them to weight the possible benefits of a drug against the potential side effects. Unfortunately, when accurate information about drug side effects is withheld from the public, consumers may take a prescription drug and unknowingly expose themselves to dangerous side effects. If you believe you have been affected by a Pradaxa side effect like internal bleeding, contact a Pradaxa attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Pradaxa lawsuit against the manufacturing company, in order to pursue compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses associated with your injuries.