Pradaxa, A Dangerous Drug

Many people have to take blood thinners to help prevent strokes and pulmonary embolisms that can result from a blood clot. Blood thinners like Coumadin®, for example, have been used for decades even though there are serious risks involved when taking away someone’s ability to stop bleeding. Because of this, the proper dosage is crucial, and people who take Coumadin have to get regular blood tests so that doctors can adjust the dose of Coumadin if a person’s blood gets too thin. The FDA recently approved Pradaxa® to prevent strokes in people who have atrial fibrillation – or an irregular heart beat.

One of the selling points of Pradaxa is that it only comes in one dose size and does not require frequent blood tests. Doctors began prescribing Pradaxa for medical conditions that the drug was not approved to treat because they thought it was easier to use.

However, Pradaxa’s one-dose-fits-all strategy might be causing some patients to have way more medication than they need.

Another dangerous fact about Pradaxa is that it has no antidote. If someone taking Coumadin gets injured, s/he can simply take Vitamin K to counteract the Coumadin and allow the body to form blood clots to heal the injury. Pradaxa has no such remedy. There is no vitamin or drug that can stop the bleeding. Even a small injury can turn very serious for someone taking Pradaxa.

The FDA first approved Pradaxa in October 2010. In its first year on the market, almost 400,000 patients filled over 1 million prescriptions of Pradaxa.

In 2011, 3,781 serious adverse events were reported to the FDA.

  • 542 of those reports were about someone who died from taking Pradaxa
  • 2,367 reports were for hemorrhages or internal bleeding
  • 644 reports were for stroke – the exact thing Pradaxa is supposed to prevent

If you or someone you love was taking Pradaxa and suffered internal bleeding, a stroke, or even death, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation about your claim.

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