Eliquis is a blood thinning drug with the generic name Apixaban. It was developed to prevent blood clots forming following knee and hip replacement surgery, as well as atrial fibrillation. (Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat which can cause blood clots to form.) Blood clots can travel throughout the body with deadly results. In the United States, Eliquis has also been approved to treat specific blood clots such as pulmonary embolus (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It works by blocking specific clotting proteins found in your blood.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer are the companies responsible for the developing and marketing of the drug. These companies state that Eliquis has a superior safety record compared to other available blood thinners. However, research suggests the drug causes uncontrollable bleeding and is responsible for a growing number of unnecessary deaths.
The Problem with Eliquis
Anticoagulants, of which Eliquis is an example, have been around for a long time, but this drug differs from earlier generation drugs because there is no antidote if an uncontrollable bleeding event arises. Blood thinning drugs can lead to uncontrolled excessive bleeding, but older drugs, for example Warfarin, do have an antidote to stop these events. As Eliquis does not have a suitable antidote, it is difficult for doctors to treat patients if uncontrollable bleeding takes place.
There are other new anticoagulants available, such as Xarelto and Pradaxa, which also do not have suitable antidotes. Like these other blood thinners, Eliquis blocks the Factor Xa enzyme when blood clotting is taking place preventing thrombin, a protein, from forming. The presence of thrombin is essential for clotting to take place.
At the time when these new generation drugs were being developed, there was a gap in the market for a drug that did not need to be monitored like the older generation ones such as Warfarin. Warfarin worked through the blocking of clotting factors that depended on Vitamin K, thus allowing doctors the opportunity to use the vitamin if an antidote was needed.
Eliquis Side Effects
Eliquis can cause numerous side effects, some of which can be fatal. For example, if an Eliquis user takes aspirin at the same time as the blood thinner, there is an even greater chance of uncontrollable bleeding. Other side effects include:
- internal bleeding;
- brain hemorrhaging;
- skin rash outbreak.
Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow a drug to be released for public use, the company has to be able to show positive outcomes from trials. However, the FDA only reviews testing results that are submitted and does not conduct their own testing. Eliquis came up against some hurdles with its Asian clinical trials, particularly in a site in China where a clinical manager at the most senior level altered documentation surrounding a failure to report serious adverse events.
Despite the problems, Eliquis was eventually released for public use. Since its release, there have been many incidents where death has occurred while taking the drug. It is alleged that Bristol-Myers and Pfizer failed to inform both patients and doctors of the possible known Eliquis side-effects.
Eliquis Lawsuits Seek Reimbursement for Damages
A spate of lawsuits have been initiated, including that of Deborah Herschell, who was the first to file a lawsuit in New York’s Southern District following the death of her husband Donald. Donald Herschell suffered brain and gastrointestinal hemorrhaging after taking Eliquis. The basis of the lawsuit is the claim that Bristol-Myers and Pfizer failed to inform the Herschells’ doctor and themselves of the shortcomings and known dangers of the drug.
At the time of writing this article, lawsuits running into the thousands have already been won by plaintiffs for drugs similar to Eliquis such as Pradaxa and Xarelto. Juries continue to hold these pharmaceutical giants responsible for concealing known dangers in an attempt to increase their bottom line.
If you have a lost a loved one or suffered uncontrollable bleeding while taking Eliquis, call our legal team today for FREE legal consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your loss.
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