Eliquis usage: Blood THinner
Eliquis is a powerful, prescription-only blood-thinning medication – technically, an anticoagulant – manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, two of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world.
Doctors prescribe Eliquis to their patients in order to reduce the occurrence of the blood clots that can cause strokes and embolisms. If your doctor determines that you are an elevated risk for either of these conditions, he or she may prescribe Eliquis.
Eliquis is also sometimes prescribed to prevent the occurrence of a serious condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVM), which may occur in certain at-risk patients after knee or hip replacement surgery.
Eliquis works by reducing your body’s ability to produce a naturally occurring enzyme called thrombin, which causes blood to clot by converting fibrinogen to fibrin.
Eliquis was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012, after the drug passed a series of clinical trials.
Eliquis Side Effects
While almost every drug has side effects, the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are always concerned when the side effects seem as bad, or worse, than the symptoms of the underlying condition. To make matters worse, there are often several drugs that could be prescribed to treat any one medical condition. We often see Big Pharma rushing into the marketplace with a ‘new’ drug when there are several other drugs that are already on market. This is often done, in our opinion, not because the ‘new’ drug is more effective but because the company making it wants a piece of the market share.
One ‘new’ drug that has us concerned is Eliquis. Eliquis was approved by the FDA in 2014 for the treatment of DVT and PE, and for the reduction in the risk of recurrent DVT and PE following initial therapy. Eliquis is made by Bristol Myers Squibb Company and Pfizer. Two touted benefits of Eliquis are oral dosing and no routine coagulation testing.
This is in contrast to warfarin, which has dietary restrictions and the need for constant blood testing.
DVT is a blood clot in a vein, usually in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, which partially or totally blocks the flow of blood. PE is a blood clot blocking one or more vessels in the lungs. DVT causes multiple symptoms including pain, swelling, and redness, and more importantly, can progress to PE, which carries the risk of sudden death. There is no doubt that DVT, which may lead to PE, can be a serious medical condition, with PE requiring immediate medical attention for treatment.
Eliquis is a very effective blood-thinner, and most of its side effects are related to that function.
Minor Side Effects:
• bleeding gums
• “minor bleeding events,” such as when a small cut bleeds more than is usual
Serious Side Effects:
If you take Eliquis and have experienced any of the following side effects, you should consult your doctor immediately.
• bleeding that lasts an unusually long time, especially from the gums and/or menstrual or other vaginal bleeding
• severe or uncontrollable bleeding
• pain or swelling
• red, pink, or brown urine
• red or black stools
• coughing up blood
• vomit that contains blood or resembles coffee grounds
Possible Life Threatening Side Effects:
Yet a third group of Eliquis side effects – also related to the drug’s powerful blood-thinning abilities – present situations that are potentially life-threatening.
If you take Eliquis, any of the following side effects qualifies as a medical emergency.
• deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
• brain bleeding
• kidney bleeding
• intestinal bleeding
• any kind of hemorrhage
• bleeding during pregnancy
• blood clots from a premature discontinuation of the medication
Even though Eliquis was engineered specifically to reduce the likelihood of stroke, the medication has in fact been implicated in causing strokes in some people who take it.
A study by the prestigious British Medical Journal found that, in some people who take it, Eliquis can increase the risk of stroke by up to 20 percent.
In the case of any of the most severe side effects, Eliquis can cause death.
Eliquis Bleeding Risk Warning
Eliquis increases the risk of bleeding and can cause serious, potentially fatal, bleeding. There is no specific antidote. The actual warning given is as follows:
Eliquis Warning• Bleeding Risk: ELIQUIS increases the risk of bleeding and can cause serious, potentially fatal bleeding.
• Concomitant use of drugs affecting hemostasis increases the risk of bleeding including aspirin and other anti-platelet agents, other anticoagulants, heparin, thrombolytic agents, SSRIs, SNRIs, and NSAIDs.
• Advise patients of signs and symptoms of blood loss and to report them immediately or go to an emergency room. Discontinue ELIQUIS in patients with active pathological hemorrhage.
• There is no established way to reverse the anticoagulant effect of apixaban, which can be expected to persist for at least 24 hours after the last dose (i.e., about two half-lives). A specific antidote for ELIQUIS is not available.
Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Eliquis including easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), bleeding from wounds or needle injections, any bleeding that will not stop; heavy menstrual periods; headache, dizziness, weakness, feeling like you might pass out; red, pink, or brown urine; black or bloody stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness (especially in your legs and feet); or loss of movement in any part of your body.
You may also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
To date, despite the fact that Eliquis has been linked to serious health problems and death, the drug has not been recalled by the FDA.
Neither has Eliquis been the subject of a class action suit or a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case. These kinds of lawsuits gather together complaints made by multiple people, and consolidate them to allow them to be more effectively tried.
Some individual lawsuits, however, have been filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer over Eliquis. We believe that more will soon be filed.
The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com believe that the tide will soon turn, and that the filing of a larger class action or MDL suit against the makers of Eliquis is all but inevitable. One such trial is in the works in New York.
The thrust of the lawsuits over Eliquis is that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer knowingly manufactured, marketed, and sold a potentially dangerous drug without disclosing its risks to doctors or consumers. Some lawsuits go further, claiming that the drugmakers concealed and changed data about Eliquis’s side effects when the drug was undergoing FDA trials.
How TheLawFirm.com can help
We believe that if you’ve taken Eliquis and have suffered serious health problems as a result, you may entitled to receive significant financial compensation.
The expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com have been handling “bad drug” cases for years, and we know how to win them. If you believe that Big Pharma has compromised your health – and your life – for the sake of profit, then we want to help you.
No one will fight harder for your health and well-being than the lawyers of TheLawFirm.com. Call us today for a free consultation.
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There is reason to be hopeful, however, that an antidote is forthcoming. An antidote is in the works, although the FDA delayed approval of an antidote for Eliquis due to questions with the manufacturing process.
Data presented at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology suggests the experimental antidote could help save as many as 90% of people with a serious bleeding event from dying.
Portola Pharmaceuticals, who is currently seeking FDA approval for its Factor Xa bleeding antidote AndexXa, has released interim data of an ongoing study.
The drug caused an 89% reduction in the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto, and a 93% decrease in the effects of Eliquis. Overall, 79% of patients experienced an “excellent” or “good” stop in internal bleeding within 12 hours of being given AndexXa.
While these results show thousands of patients could be saved from injury or death, the antidote could be months or years away from approval due to FDA delays. It is alleged in lawsuits alleged that the makers of Eliquis didn’t fully warn patients of the risks, putting more people at risk.
We are sure that the makers of Eliquis are eager to have AndexXa approved because it would give doctors more confidence in prescribing their blood thinners. In the meantime, please contact the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com if you have a serious bleeding incident while taking Eliquis.