What makes Xarelto different than the other blood thinner medication is that it is actually a Xa inhibitor, meaning that it works to think out the blood by blocking thrombin. This is the chemical found in the blood that leads to a blood clot. Being able to block thrombin, Xarelto works to break down and then prevent any blood clot that can be a problem if you have gone through either knee replacement or hip surgery, are going through deep vein thrombosis or have been diagnosed as having atrial fibrillation.
The major side effect linked to Xarelto use is internal bleeding that is uncontrollable. Internal bleeding can be a lot more dangerous than external bleeds, as it is more difficult to identify. Since Xarelto will keep the blood from clotting, internal bleeding events can result in the need for hospitalization right away, or even death.
Along with severe internal bleeding, one serious risk that has been linked to the use of Xarelto is that it can lead to blood clotting if the person stops taking the drug before they are supposed to. This is something reported as happening whenever a patient is transitioning from Xarelto because there is no reversal agent, back to the drug Warfarin, which happens to have a reversal agent in it.
Back in 2013, the FDA put out a report that was focused on adverse medical events that are linked to the use of Xarelto. The report noted that about 2,100 of the people surveyed had reported adverse events concerning Xarelto. Out of that, 1,821 of the people cited Xarelto as being the main cause of the event.
The major four side effects to be reported in the study were:
– Deep Vein Thrombosis
– Pulmonary Embolism
– Gastrointestinal Bleeds
Some of the other adverse events that were included are cerebrovascular incidents, thrombosis, edema, dyspnea, and hematoma and hemoglobin deficiency. With 891 of the cases that were reported, hospitalization was necessary. Unfortunately, 183 of the cases resulted in the death of the patient.
A pulmonary embolism is something that happens when the blood flowing to the lungs gets blocked due to a blood clot. This is most commonly caused by a deep vein thrombosis, which is where a blood clot gets formed down in the veins of the legs or arms, then travels into the lungs where it forms a blockage. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include severe chest pain, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. The symptoms might only occur after serious damage is already done. A pulmonary embolism is difficult to diagnose, often leading to death.
This is internal bleeding in the abdominal area, which can be very serious. The abdominal region holds a lot of vital organs. In the event that there is an internal bleed, the blood can pool around such organs and then cut them off from the supply of blood that is freshly oxygenated. Whenever organs are cut off from oxygen for long, they will start to die. The signs of a gastrointestinal bleed can include coughing up blood or vomiting it up, resembling coffee grounds.
Internal bleeding in the brain has been always very dangerous. This can result in suffocation of the brain cells as they starve for oxygen. If they get cut off from oxygen for far too long, they can begin to die, leading to effects that are similar to a stroke. The signs that there is a brain bleed can include numbness in the arms, legs, or face, speech that is slurred, difficulty when moving or walking, harsh headaches, lack of coordination and impaired vision.
Many critics say that Xarelto is also far more dangerous than other available blood thinner medication because there is nothing that can be used as a reversal agent. If any patient that is taking Xarelto goes through internal bleeding, you do not have a drug that will counteract it to stop the bleeding.