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Pradaxa Bleeding Has No Antidote

Pradaxa is an anticoagulant drug used to treat patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, and can help reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes in these at-risk patients. Drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim introduced the drug in 2010, marketing it as a superior alternative to older blood thinner Coumadin, which has been in use since the 1960s. However, Pradaxa has been linked to serious bleeding with no readily available antidote, unlike Coumadin. Many patients who have experienced serious side effects after taking the medication have opted to file a Pradaxa lawsuit against Boehringer Ingelheim.

Pradaxa seen as easy alternative

Coumadin, also known as warfarin, and Pradaxa are the two most popular anticoagulant mediations currently available in the United States. Pradaxa has only been on the market since October 2010, but Coumadin has been available for more than half a century. Pradaxa is a direct competitor to Coumadin, and has several advantages–dietary restrictions are not necessary with Pradaxa, and neither is regular blood monitoring, while both are necessary steps that must be taken by patients using Coumadin. This made it easy for Boehringer Ingelheim to market Pradaxa as an easier to use option.

Soon after Pradaxa was introduced, it became clear that serious side effects are possible. Anticoagulants help thin the blood in order to prevent clotting, and bleeding is a side effect with any anticoagulant medication. However, if Coumadin causes bleeding, vitamin K may be administered to a patient in oder to stop the hemorrhaging. Pradaxa doesn’t respond to the same treatment and there is no readily available antidote that would counteract the effects of Pradaxa bleeding. Just one year after the drug was released, the FDA had already received more than 2,000 reports of Pradaxa bleeding.

Pradaxa side effects can be deadly

542 cases of alleged death resulting from Pradaxa use were reported to the FDA in the year after the drug was approved. Patients using Pradaxa who experience symptoms such as pink or brown urine, bloody or tarry stools, bleeding gums, coughing up or vomiting blood, lethargy, weakness and dizziness, and swollen extremities and joint pain should get medical help immediately.

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