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While one blood thinner with an increased risk of irreversible internal bleeding remains the subject of lawsuits, another blood thinner with the same precarious characteristic enters the nation’s prescription drug market.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dec. 28 announced its approval of the “anti-clotting drug Eliquis (apixaban), an oral tablet used to reduce the risk of stroke and dangerous blood clots (systemic embolism) in patients with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem.” Bristol-Myers Squibb Company makes it.

The FDA’s statement also contained the following language: “There is no agent that can reverse the anti-coagulant effect of Eliquis.”

This could be food for thought to those who took another blood thinner, Pradaxa, and who suffered serious internal bleeding, consistent with Pradaxa’s increased bleeding risk. The reason? Pradaxa also has no antidote.

Pradaxa, according to the FDA’s Nov. 2 statement, is also “an anticoagulant medication used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart rhythm abnormality.” Additionally, Pradaxa’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., announced Dec. 19 that the medication’s prescribing information would be “updated to include a contraindication related to use in patients with mechanical prosthetic heart valve replacement.”

Pradaxa-related adverse reactions and the litigation that flows from them appear to be the unfortunate — if not tragic — undertow of a growing U.S. blood thinner market.

Pradaxa lawsuits have been filed across the country on behalf of victims of the unreasonable risk of Pradaxa bleeding. The Pradaxa attorneys at Reich & Binstock represent Pradaxa bleeding victims, and they accordingly offer free consultations to patients whose serious bleeding may have been associated with Pradaxa’s side effects.

The nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices tracked Pradaxa-related adverse events that in 2011 the manufacturer and others combined reported to the FDA. The figures included 542 patient deaths. Further, among the “regularly monitored drugs,” Pradaxa had the highest 2011 case reports of hemorrhage (2,367), acute renal failure (291) and stroke (644).

Figures on a page are a part of the story; nevertheless, the patient, who may be entitled to compensation, is the abiding cause.

The experienced pharmaceutical injury litigation team at Reich & Binstock proudly takes up that cause and does everything in its power to hold the manufacturer accountable for the harm linked to Pradaxa. Hence, Reich & Binstock’s free up-front legal advice is an offer that a Pradaxa patient anywhere who has suffered gastrointestinal bleeding might not want to refuse.

Reich & Binstock may be reached either through the electronic form on its Web site,, or toll-free at 1-866-LAW-2400.

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