Pradaxa is another example of a new drug gone bad. Marketed as the latest and most improved version of anti-clotting medications, it turns out to be much riskier that well-established drugs already on the market. Since 2010, Pradaxa has been prescribed by physicians to prevent stokes, particularly in elderly people who have an irregular heartbeat. A devastating acknowledgment, however, by the German manufacturer of Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim, notes that hundreds of deaths since 2010 may be the result of uncontrollable internal bleeding caused by Pradaxa.
Pradaxa does contain an FDA warning about the increased risk of bleeding incidences; however, unlike a similar drug, Warfarin, prescriptions of Pradaxa do not require frequent blood tests to determine the correct dosage. The lack of frequent blood test can lead to dangerous consequences.
The recent rise in reports of increased bleeding events in patients taking Pradaxa has been particularly troubling. This is especially true since there are safer alternatives currently on the market for patients. Because of these reports, the FDA released a safety alert in December 2011, warning that bleeding events were occurring more often than expected.
Recently, Boehringer stated that prior to taking Pradaxa; patients should have their kidneys monitored in order to rule out the possibility of overdosing. If a patient’s kidneys are not functioning adequately, too much Pradaxa may stay in the bloodstream and increase the risk of internal bleeding. Patients taking Pradaxa must be familiar with the signs of internal bleeding so that medical attention can be sought immediately.
Significantly, the elderly and patients with kidney conditions face a greater risk of suffering serious uncontrollable bleeding, even from minor falls. And there is no cure to the internal bleeding caused by Pradaxa, as there is for another drug in this class like Warfarin.
If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of taking Pradaxa, please contact Pogust Braslow & Millrood. Just fill out this form, click here to send us an email or call us at (610) 941-4204.