Do Xarelto Benefits Outweigh The Risks?

xarelto.jpgA couple of years ago, I developed arterial fibrillation, more commonly known as “afib”, which is not uncommon with people 50 and older. My dad had it from the time he was 50 until he died at age 86. It’s not life threatening, but does raise the risk of blood clots, which can lead to strokes.

The treatment? Blood thinners. “Thin” blood can’t clot so easily, and thus prevents stokes. My dad used the blood thinner of his era – Coumadin (warfarin) – for 35 years. The problem with Coumadin was it was not user friendly. Dosage depended on diet, age, and other medications being taken. With Coumadin, patients had to get blood tests monthly or more often and watch their intake of vitamin K, which could lessen the effectiveness of warfarin.

Coumadin – with all those hassles – is now considered “old school”. I am using a new generation blood thinner called “Xarelto” (rivaroxaban). The advantage of Xarelto over Coumadin is that one size fits all. Almost anyone can take 20 miligrams and be protected from blood clotting, and thus protected from strokes. No need for monthly blood tests. Just pop the pill once a day and your good.

Or are you? The problem with Xarelto is that there is no ”antidote” if you start to bleed excessively. Vitamin K acts as an antidote to Coumadin if you start bleeding excessively, but it has no effect on Xarelto.

So, because I am on Xarelto, if I develop serious bleeding, there may be little the doctors will be able to do to stymie it. Death may follow.

I have nevertheless made the decision to continue to use Xarelto rather than deal with the hassle of Coumadin and its monthly blood tests. You might say I have “assumed the risks” of Xarelto in order to avoid the hassles of Coumadin.

When I watch TV during my YMCA workouts, I see many ads on TV for Xarelto followed shortly by ads like this one:

It’s kind of funny seeing ads for Xarelto back-to-back with ads inviting those harmed by it to sue.

Xarelto lawsuits exist because of products liability law, which essentially says that a product is “defective” if it is “unreasonably dangerous”. Is Xarelto unreasonably dangerous? Our courts will have to test that. But for me – unless there are hidden risks I am unaware of – the small (I hope) risk of unstoppable bleeding is outweighed by the convenience of not having to get my blood tested once a month. Too busy!

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani
Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I’d love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

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