Are Blood Thinner Deaths on the Rise?

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There have been growing reports of blood thinner deaths in recent years with the advent of newer anticoagulants such as .

, generically known as rivaroxaban, is part of a drug class of New Oral Anticoagulants, or NOACs. is prescribed to those patients who are at risk for pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis.

joins Pradaxa and Eliquis in this class of drugs. It works as a direct Factor Xa inhibitor. In essence, the daily ingestion of inhibits a chemical in the blood and by doing so, it interrupts the blood’s ability to clot.

For many, this has been seen as a wonder drug. and other NAOCs have taken over the blood thinner market, sweeping past the standard prescribed drug, warfarin. Warfarin, used for many years as a go-to blood thinner, requires dietary restrictions and frequent blood monitoring. Because of this, has been marketed as superior to the older, more relied-upon blood thinners like warfarin.

However, as is the case with a medication that inhibits blood clotting, the risk of uncontrollable bleeding events is heightened. has no reversal agent available in the case of hemorrhage.

The Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP)  issued its Quarter Watch report earlier this month analyzing, among other things, oral anticoagulant drugs.

The ISMP looked at data from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from FAERS (FDA Adverse Event Reporting System) for anticoagulant use and found alarming results.

FAERS reported that in 2016, blood thinner injuries totaled nearly 22,000 including over 3,000 blood thinner deaths. was at the top of the list for blood thinner deaths and blood thinner injuries. Most of these injuries, the ISMP notes, are from hemorrhages. 15,000 of these adverse events reports were linked to use.

The CDC looked at emergency room data and found that blood thinner use accounted for more ER visits than any other type of drugs including opioids, antibiotics and diabetes drugs. The Centers for Disease Control notes that nearly half of all blood thinner ER visits required a hospital stay.

ISMP’s analysis of both the CDC data on blood thinner deaths and injuries as well as the FAERS reports show that ER visits for blood thinner use has more than doubled over the last decade and that the FDA may be underestimating the amount of blood thinner deaths and adverse events.

The problem with and other new anticoagulants is the lack of an antidote in the case of a severe bleeding event. Warfarin patients need only to be administered Vitamin K in order to stop internal bleeding, and Pradaxa now has an antidote after 5 years on the market without one.

AndexXa, ’s proposed antidote has not yet been approved by the FDA. Many families have experienced blood thinner deaths as a result of drugs like that do not have an antidote.

If you or someone you love has experienced an uncontrollable bleeding event as a result of taking, you may be a candidate for legal action. Contact the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley for a FREE case evaluation by filling out the form on this page.