Thanks to glossy magazine inserts and a steady stream of television commercials with a high production value, more Americans than ever are now familiar with the names of certain prescription drugs. Indeed, many people are now familiar with the drug Xarelto thanks to a recent TV spot featuring a famous comedian, a popular racecar driver, an NBA star and a legendary golfer.
While the spot is informative and humorous at times, it fails to discuss how the drug has been linked to major health concerns and a growing number of lawsuits.
What exactly is Xarelto?
For those unfamiliar with Xarelto, otherwise known by its generic name rivaroxaban, it is an anticoagulant medication manufactured by the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. It received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration back in July 2011.
What medical condition is treated by Xarelto?
When Xarelto hit the market in the summer of 2011, it was marketed as an alternative to Warfarin, a blood thinner that has been used by medical professionals for roughly 60 years.
The FDA initially cleared the drug for post-operative use by patients who had undergone either hip and knee replacement surgery given that the recovery from these procedures presents an elevated risk of deep vein thrombosis. For those unfamiliar with DVT, it is essentially a blood clot in the legs that can break off, enter the bloodstream and travel to the lungs where it develops into a pulmonary embolism, meaning a blockage of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs.
Is this the only use for Xarelto?
No. The FDA expanded its approved uses for Xarelto in 2012, such that it can be prescribed for everything from irregular heartbeats to stroke prevention. Indeed, it can also be prescribed to prevent DVT (regardless of whether an operation occurred), and to treat recurrent DVT and pulmonary embolism.
We will continue this discussion in our next post, examining both the side effects associated with Xarelto and the growing number of lawsuits being filed in connection with the prescription blood thinner.
Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one to what you believe was a dangerous prescription drug.