What Are Blood Thinners?
Blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, are a treatment for preventing or breaking up clots in your circulatory system. These drugs don’t actually thin your blood. Instead, they prevent platelets from clumping together.
Blood clots are not necessarily bad. For example, a blood clot can prevent severe bleeding from a simple knee injury. However, if a clot is formed in your heart or arteries, a heart attack can result. A clot in the brain can cause stroke.
Anticoagulants work in different ways. To learn how, and what risks are associated with them, click the red links below.
Why Are They Prescribed?
Patients in the following categories are likely to be prescribed a blood thinner:
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Blood Disorders
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Heart Valve Does Not Fully Open
- Infection Inside the Heart
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Surgery for Hip or Knee Replacement
What Patients Need to Be Aware Of
No bleeding antidote. Eliquis works by blocking the production of a protein to reduce the risks of blood clots. However, in the event you suffer something as simple as a slip and fall, you could be hospitalized for uncontrolled internal bleeding – and little can be done to slow the blood loss, except to wait for the drug to exit your body. See Warfarin section to see why this doesn’t have to be a problem.
A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery in August 2014 noted that newer medications, like Eliquis, still do not have an antidote to reverse the blood thinning effects.3
According to FDA Reviewer Thomas Marciniak, the clinical trials for Eliquis that claimed that users were less likely to die than those on warfarin were missing data and responded to the conclusion that the drug reduces deaths by saying, “Our confidence […] is destroyed by the missing vital status.”4
Perry Wilson, clinical trial design expert and professor of medicine at Yale University Medical School says, “I would tend to agree that touting this as a potential (mortality) benefit of the drug is likely very premature.”5
Boxed Warning: PREMATURE DISCONTINUATION OF ELIQUIS INCREASES THE RISK OF THROMBOTIC EVENTS.6
Received FDA approval in 2012.7
Marketed by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
What Patients Need to Be Aware Of
No bleeding antidote. Pradaxa works by blocking the production of a protein to reduce the risks of blood clots. However, in the event you suffer something as simple as a slip and fall, you could be hospitalized for uncontrolled internal bleeding – and little can be done to slow the blood loss, except to wait for the drug to exit your body. See Warfarin section to see why this doesn’t have to be a problem.
An August 2014 study in the Journal of Neurosurgery noted that newer medications, like Pradaxa, still do not have an antidote to reverse the blood thinning effects.8
Journal of Neurosurgery published a case study in May 2012 raising concerns that Pradaxa may put the elderly at higher risk for bleeding events.9
In February 2014 article in the New York Times discussed documents that are produced as part of the Pradaxa litigation. The documents detailed conversations the company had about the drug’s safety. In response to publishing a study suggesting the need for increased monitoring, employees protested: “This publication will more harm than be useful for us, neither in the market but be especially harmful in the discussions with regulatory bodies,” one email read. ‘Can’t this be avoided?’”10
Received FDA approval in October 2010.11
Manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim.
November 2011 Boehringer Ingelheim acknowledged it had received reports of 260 deaths associated with Pradaxa bleeding.12
In May 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim settled 4,000 cases for $650 million, averaging $162,500 per victim.13
What Patients Need to Be Aware Of
No bleeding antidote. Xarelto works by blocking the production of a protein to reduce the risks of blood clots. However, in the event you suffer something as simple as a slip and fall, you could be hospitalized for uncontrolled internal bleeding – and little can be done to slow the blood loss, except to wait for the drug to exit your body. See Warfarin section to see why this doesn’t have to be a problem.
A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery in August 2014 noted that newer medications, like Xarelto, still do not have an antidote to reverse the blood thinning effects.17
Estimated to be the 19th best-selling drug in the world. By 2018 annual sales are expected to reach nearly $3.7 billion.18
Touted as a “one-size-fits-all”, but according to a study in Thrombosis Journal in 2014, risk of fatal bleeding was directly tied to the dosage: “therapeutic excesses can condition bleeding risk and therapeutic limitation can increase thrombotic risk, especially when short-acting drugs such as the new oral anticoagulants are used…it is imperative to establish an appropriate method for monitoring new oral anticoagulants, setting levels of safety and effectiveness through periodic dosage and monitoring of their anticoagulant effects. Therefore, we still recommend the use of anticoagulation units [INR] for monitoring during treatment with the new oral anticoagulants.”19
According to Dr. J Robert Powel in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2015 stated that: “evidence suggests that patient safety can be further improved through individualized dosing.”20
Manufactured by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
What Patients Need to Be Aware Of
No bleeding antidote. Savaysa works by blocking the production of a protein to reduce the risks of blood clots. However, in the event you suffer something as simple as a slip and fall, you could be hospitalized for uncontrolled internal bleeding – and little can be done to slow the blood loss, except to wait for the drug to exit your body. See Warfarin section to see why this doesn’t have to be a problem.
Study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery in August 2014 noted that newer medications, like Savaysa, still do not have an antidote to reverse the blood thinning effects.14
Black box warning says premature discontinuation of edoxaban increases ischemic event risk and that the drug can cause spinal or epidural hematoma.15
FDA approval in 2015, making it the newest drug in its class of Factor Xa Inhibitors.16
Unlike longstanding warfarin which has been utilized for tens of millions of patients over more than fifty years, these new drugs have undergone only a fraction of the safety research earlier medications did. Significantly less is known about the potential side effects of these new drugs, leaving the patient at greater risk of unknown adverse events.
Manufacturer is Japan-based drug maker Daiichi Sankyo.
Has an antidote. Unlike the new drugs belonging to a class called Factor Xa Inhibitors, Warfarin slows the body’s Vitamin K production. During profuse bleeding, a patient can be injected with Vitamin K to reverse the thinning effects of warfarin. This reversibility can be the difference between life and death after something as simple as a slip and fall.
Warfarin received FDA Approval in 1954.1 Warfarin is considered so effective that it has been prescribed for more than sixty years. While the drug does come with greater inconvenience, the time-tested nature of this drug should be considered.
Patients on warfarin have to be monitored regularly. Initially, patients must undergo testing as often as once or twice per week. Drug makers of the new Factor Xa Inhibitors tout their “more convenient” medications over warfarin due to their being prescribed primarily as a “one-size-fits-all.”
Also known as: Coumadin, Jantoven, Lawarin, Marevan, Waran, Warfant.
Costs a fraction of what “novel” blood thinners cost.
ALERT: A device known as the Alere INRatio Monitor System and Test Strip has been recalled for incorrect readings of the patient’s international normalized ratio (INR).2 The FDA has received 18,924 complaints for Alere INRatio Test Strips. These devices could read that a patient’s blood ratios are in a safe range when they really aren’t. Warfarin users should verify that they have not suffered as a result of incorrect readings.
Are New Blood Thinners As “Safe” As They Seem? Eliquis Vs. Xarelto?
Are Financial Exchanges Putting Patients At Risk?
Why Focus On the Risks?
Our job as defective-product lawyers is to help clients determine whether their injury resulted from a lack of warning. We are not medical professionals, though we do work with many nurses, physicians, and various medical experts to determine cause. When ascertaining which blood thinner to take for your specific situation, talk to your specialized doctor, who will pay close attention to risks that may relate to you.
The information you’re reading is intended to be a helpful resource to people on a blood thinner and to alert them of the risks associated with these drugs. We have found that drug manufacturers often withhold information or bury it in long, complicated documents.
Sometimes the risks are acceptable to the individual, which is fine as long as the person has opportunity to weigh those risks. In fact, various reports have indicated that some thinners have benefits that others don’t. These distinctions are beyond our expertise.
We help clients put their lives back together after a drug like the ones mentioned above devastates their wellbeing. Heart attacks, strokes, hospital stays, death…these are tough blows to individuals and families. They are financially devastating too. And that’s not fair. The manufacturers make billions of dollars off the medications, and the only accountability is for lawyers like us to challenge them.
The justice system rarely gets involved, and when it does, it’s only in specific incidents involving criminal behavior such as marketing a drug for something it was never approved for. We are the only defense victims of these drugs have.
You won’t get fairness from the manufacturer without firms like Gacovino Lake. Manufacturers won’t offer support after you’ve suffered dearly. Individuals don’t have the means to fight these pharmaceutical giants. But together, lawyers across the country team up to represent injured victims and fight for compensation. And when the facts clearly point to the manufacturer being in the wrong, lawyers are able to obtain compensation for the injured.
We are not here to help you choose your medication. We are here to make sure you know the risks of the drugs you’re taking. We want you to make informed decisions about your health and well being. We are here to serve you.
Call (800) 550-0000 for your free consultation today.
 Neurosurgical complications of direct thrombin inhibitors—catastrophic hemorrhage after mild traumatic brain injury in a patient receiving dabigatran. March 6, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.2.JNS112132.
 http://thejns.org/doi/pdf/10.3171/2014.8.paradigm http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/206316lbl.pdf
 JAMA. 2015;313(10):1013-1014. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.59.