What is Pradaxa?
What is Pradaxa Approved For?
In 2011, there were more deaths linked to the drug Pradaxa than any other prescription medication, prompting the public question “What is Pradaxa?”
Pradaxa is a blood-thinning oral medication prescribed to patients with an irregular heartbeat. Made and manufactured by the German pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pradaxa was approved by the FDA in 2010. What is Pradaxa causing?
Pradaxa belongs to a class of drugs known as direct thrombin inhibitors. By attaching itself to thrombin, the blood’s central clotting agent, Pradaxa prevents the formation of blood clots. Reducing blood clots is an essential part of preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Boehringer Ingelheim contends that Pradaxa reduces the risk of stroke 35 percent better than warfarin, the drug commonly used to prevent strokes prior to the release of Pradaxa.
What is Pradaxa and who should take it? Pradaxa is not recommended for everyone. Patients who fit the following criteria are advised to talk with their doctor before taking Pradaxa:
- Over the age of 75
- History of kidney disease
- History of recurrent stomach or intestinal disorders or ulcers
- Are taking other blood-thinning medications
- Have mechanical prosthetic heart valves
Pradaxa Side Effects
Since its release in 2010, Pradaxa was marketed as a safer, more effective substitution for other blood-thinning medications, such as Coumadin. However, reports of serious Pradaxa side effects were being reported as early as 2011. According to the nonprofit organization Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Pradaxa-linked deaths were higher than any other prescription drug in 2011. In early 2012, a Pradaxa side effects study of more than 30,000 patients by the Cleveland Clinic revealed that the drug increases the risk of heart attack by 33 percent. And in May, 2013, a study by the Journal of Neurosurgery showed that patients who take Pradaxa and experience a head trauma are more likely to die from brain bleeding than those who do not take the drug.
In various Drug Safety Communications, the FDA has cautioned of serious bleeding complications associated with Pradaxa use, including:
- Unusual bleeding from the gums
- Nose bleeding that happens often
- Menstrual or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal
- Bleeding that is severe or you cannot control
- Pink or brown urine
- Red or black stools (looks like tar)
- Bruises that happen without a known cause or that get larger
- Coughing up blood or blood clots
- Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
If you experience any of these Pradaxa side effects, it is critical to see your doctor right away.
Pradaxa is one of the most widely prescribed blood-thinning medications in the U.S. From 2010-2012, nearly 5 million Pradaxa prescriptions were made, with more than 1 million patients filling those prescriptions. In 2011 alone, there were 3,781 adverse Pradaxa side effects cases and 542 deaths reported to the FDA. That same year, it is estimated that Boehringer spent $464 million to promote Pradaxa, with sales of the drug exceeding $1 billion.
Although the FDA has not changed its recommendations about Pradaxa, hundreds of patients nationwide have filed a Pradaxa lawsuit. The number of Pradaxa lawsuits is expected to rise significantly in the coming years; in the last year alone, the number has already grown by 50 percent.
Patients who have suffered serious complications from taking Pradaxa may be eligible to collect financial compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Medical expenses not covered by insurance
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (future family benefits)
Still have doubts as to what is Pradaxa for? Call now for your free Pradaxa legal consultation. In just 10 minutes, you could find out if you have a Pradaxa lawsuit. 1-800-THE-LAW2.