Pradaxa FAQ – From Pradaxa Attorneys in NC, Ward Black Law

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Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) is a new prescription blood thinner which may cause serious to potentially fatal internal bleeding.  The Pradaxa attorneys of Ward Black Law are currently investigating cases of Pradaxa complications, including internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, and death.  If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or side-effects due to the use of Pradaxa, contact the Ward Black Law Pradaxa attorneys in Greensboro, North Carolina today.  You may be entitled to compensation for your damages, and our professional, competent team of Pradaxa attorneys is here to assist you, give you a voice, and stand up for your legal rights.  We have assembled this FAQ page as a quick guide to educate you about the potentially harmful side-effects of Pradaxa and to inform you of your options.

What is Pradaxa?

Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) is a prescription drug fabricated by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., and approved in 2010 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  It is an anti-coagulant (blood thinner) used to reduce the risk of strokes and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation.  Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart beats in an erratic rhythm.  Because the upper chambers (atria) of the heart do not fully contract, blood pools in those areas, becomes stagnant, and may create clots.  If a blood clot then travels to the brain, it induces a stroke.  In an effort to prevent clotting, Pradaxa, a direct thrombin inhibitor, thins the blood by targeting its enzymes.  

Unfortunately, Boehringer Ingelheim reported in November 2011 that 260 people worldwide had died due to a fatal bleed while taking Pradaxa.  This caused the FDA to issue a safety announcement in December of 2011, assuring consumers that it is investigating dozens of claims that severe internal bleeding/hemorrhaging in patients taking Pradaxa has caused injury, disability, and death.  As of yet, there has been no recall of the drug.

What are the possible side-effects of Pradaxa?                

  • Internal bleeding/hemorrhaging
  • Kidney bleeding
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Bruising
  • Allergic reaction (hives, rash, itching, chest pain or tightness, swelling of the face or tongue, difficulty breathing or wheezing, dizziness or faintness, anaphylactic reaction and shock)
  • Increased bilirubin levels and liver dysfunction
  • Nausea/Dizziness
  • Joint pain
  • Gastrointestinal complications (indigestion, upset stomach, burning, abdominal pain)
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Death

What are the signs and symptoms of internal bleeding? 

  • Severe, uncontrolled, or prolonged bleeding (bleeding of the gums, frequent nose bleeds, menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal, vaginal bleeding).
  • Pink or brown urine
  • Red or black stools (a tar-like appearance)
  • Easy bruising or bruising with no known cause
  • Coughing blood or blood clots
  • Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like “coffee grounds”
  • Headaches, dizziness or weakness
  • Swelling, tenderness, or joint pain

Who is most at risk for serious complications due to Pradaxa use?

  • Patients aged 75 and older
  • Patients with kidney problems or taking dronedarone (Multaq) or ketoconazole tablets (Nizoral)
  • People with recent or recurring stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • Patients who take other medications that increase their risk of bleeding, including:
    • Aspirin
    • Long-term (chronic) use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Warfarin Sodium (Coumadin, Jantoven)
    • Anything  that contains heparin
    • Clopidogrel (Plavex)
    • Prasugrel (Effient)

Are there alternatives to Pradaxa?

There are other anti-coagulant drugs prescribed for atrial fibrillation patients, including Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin, and heparin, but each comes with its own attendant risks and side-effects.  Warfarin, the most widely prescribed drug before the creation of Pradaxa, takes several days to take effect, requires close and thorough monitoring to determine correct dosage, and cannot be taken with certain foods and medications.  However, recent studies have shown that Warfarin patients have a reduced risk of heart attacks and heart disease symptoms compared to Pradaxa patients.    

Can the side-effects be reversed?

The side-effects of Warfarin can be completely reversed by Vitamin K treatment, but there are currently no prevention, reduction, or reversal treatment therapies available for Pradaxa patients who have suffered internal bleeding/ hemorrhaging.

What should I do if I’d like to file a lawsuit?

Boehringer Ingelheim did not sufficiently warn consumers of the possible harmful and fatal side-effects of Pradaxa; thus, the company may be held liable in cases of injury, disability, or death in Pradaxa patients.  

If you or a loved one has experienced any side-effects from the use of Pradaxa, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages suffered, including injury, disability, death, pain and suffering, disintegration of health, lost wages, medical expenses, and travel expenses.  

Please contact Ward Black Law today.  Our experienced and qualified Pradaxa attorneys in North Carolina can help you pursue substantial compensation for your losses.  They can answer your questions, evaluate your case, and guide you through the litigation process.  Our Pradaxa attorneys of NC are here to assist you, right your wrongs, and give you a voice.      

Pradaxa in the News   

Below we have provided several recent news articles about Pradaxa and its side-effects. While these are intended to be informational and helpful, Ward Black Law is not responsible for the content on these third-party sites.

USA  Today: Blood-thinner Pradaxa target of mass-claims suit

Houston Press: Pradaxa patients can’t stop the bleeding

CBS News: Higher heart attack risk from Pradaxa

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