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California Woman Alleges Pradaxa Caused Husband’s Death

Pradaxa-Side-Effects-LawsuitOn January 10, 2013, a new lawsuit filed by a Pradaxa lawyer alleges that manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim is responsible for the death of California resident Deborah McNamar’s husband.

Pradaxa is a blood-thinning medication that was prescribed to treat Philip McNamar’s atrial fibrillation in January 2010. When it was prescribed he and his doctors were not aware of the possibility of uncontrollable, life-threatening bleeding that could occur when taking the drug.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Plaintiff’s husband dies after aneurysm

Soon after he began taking the drug, Philip McNamar suffered from excessive bleeding and a ruptured abdominal aorta. This is also referred to as an abdominal aortic aneurysm. When the large blood vessel supplying blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs grows abnormally large and balloons outward, this can be the result. The larger the aneurysm, the bigger the chance of a rupture. If the aneurysm is repaired before it bursts, the patient has a good outlook. When it ruptures, the blood spills onto the abdominal cavity and cause death within minutes.

Because of the alleged bleeding after taking Pradaxa, Philip McNamar died on January 10, 2012.

Pradaxa has no reversal agent for excessive bleeding

Pradaxa lawsuits are being filed nationwide as attorneys represent patients who suffered from injuries due to the absence of a reversal agent for the drug if side effects occur. Blood-thinning medications such as Pradaxa or warfarin both carry a risk of bleeding, warfarin patients can have these symptoms alleviated by receiving an injection of vitamin K. The same cannot be said of Pradaxa, therefore if bleeding occurs, it can be more dangerous and even deadly.

The FDA received over 800 reports regarding Pradaxa between April and June of 2011. 500 of the reports were due to excessive bleeding and there were at least 117 deaths after Pradaxa use. The New England Journal of Medicine, in March 2012, published two letters from doctors in New Zealand regarding patients who have suffered from bleeding events after using Pradaxa. One expressed concern that the risks of the drug are not appreciated by the manufacturer and that the absence of a reversal agent for the drug should not be underestimated.

Plaintiff sees in excess of $75,000 for husband’s Pradaxa death

The plaintiff alleges that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn of the Pradaxa risks. The original label on the medication contains no information about the lack of a reversal agent. The company still did not include a black box warning on the label in the United States after post-marketing reports informed them of the possibility of life-threatening incidents of bleeding. They did, however, place a black box warning on the label of the drug in Japan in 2011.

Plaintiff McNamar brings counts of wrongful death, deceptive trade practices, fraudulent concealment, negligence per se, breach of warranties, negligent misrepresentation and/or fraud, negligence, design defect, and failure to warn. She claims loss of consortium and requests punitive, economic and actual damages.

The lawsuit states that there was an absence of a sufficient warning and  that Pradaxa did not have a reversal agent to stop uncontrolled bleeding led to her husband’s death. Mrs. McNamar seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.