New Blood Thinner Similar to Pradaxa: Risk of Internal Bleeding

Merck & Co. has introduced a new blood thinner which is in the same class as Pradaxa and Xarelto, which also poses an increased risk of potentially fatal internal bleeding.

This new anticoagulant, Vorapaxar, appears to reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke by roughly 20% in patients who have already suffered a heart attack.  However, according to clinical trial results presented in March at the meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago, this drug nearly doubles the risk of internal bleeding.

In the study, Vorapaxar was tested against a placebo.  One portion of the study was cut short when participating patients who had a history of stroke demonstrated high rates of brain hemorrhaging.
The drug, which belongs to the class of drugs known as “direct thrombin inhibitors” is similar to Pradaxa (Boehringer Ingelheim) and Xarelto (Johnson & Johnson).

This new generation of blood thinners has been presented as a superior alternative to Coumadin (warfarin), which requires extensive patient montoring.  However, when patients taking warfarin suffer internal bleeding it can be reversed: no such reversal agent exists for this new class of anticoagulants.
Pradaxa (dabigatran) was introduced in October 2010, and has since been linked to so many internal bleeding deaths that it is currently the subject of an FDA investigation.

Merck officials have called the Vorapaxar study results disappointing.  Still, these latest trial results were more favorable to earlier trial results, which showed no health benefit from the drug.

In contrast, a study presented at the same Chicago conference led to the conclusion that Xarelto can actually reduce the risk of internal bleeding when compared to other treatments that involve warfarin.  Johnson & Johnson is pushing for expanded use of Xarelto to prevent blood clots that can lead to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Contact a Dangerous Drug Attorney

In light of the high rates of internal bleeding and death suffered by Pradaxa patients, hundreds of Americans are now looking to file dangerous drug lawsuits for compensation.  If you would like to learn more about Pradaxa lawsuits, contact a respected pharmaceutical product liability lawyer.

April 9, 2012 | Tags: Dangerous Drugs, Pradaxa

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