Xarelto Side Effects

Xarelto, a new-generation blood thinner, has been linked to a number of complications, including fainting, itching, pain in the arms or legs, muscle pain, and muscle spasms. Uncontrollable internal bleeding is the most serious Xarelto side effect, as there currently exists no approved antidote for reversing the drug’s anticoagulant action.

What is Xarelto?

Xarelto is a blood-thinning medication that was developed by Bayer and is marketed by Johnson & Johnson. It is used to:

  • Prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery.
  • Reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
  • Prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2011. In 2013, Bayer made $1.3 billion from sales of Xarelto. The medication has proven popular because it does not require patients to follow certain dietary restrictions or undergo regular blood monitoring, as is the case with a much older blood thinner called warfarin.

Xarelto Boxed Warning

The Xarelto label includes a boxed warning regarding an increased risk of stroke following discontinuation of the drug in patients with atrial fibrillation. The boxed warning also notes that epidural or spinal hematomas have occurred in patients treated with Xarelto who are receiving neuraxial anesthesia or undergoing spinal puncture. These hematomas may result in long-term or permanent paralysis.

Xarelto Bleeding Complications

Like any blood thinner, Xarelto can cause serious internal bleeding. However, no reversal agent has yet been approved to treat this dangerous Xarelto side effect. Even a minor trauma that results in bruising has the potential to be a serious event for Xarelto patients. By contrast, bleeding associated with warfarin can be stopped via the administration of vitamin K.

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the  following Xarelto side effects, as they could be an indication of internal bleeding:

  • Bruising that occurs easily or takes longer than normal to heal
  • Red or dark brown urine
  • Red or black bowel motions
  • Nosebleeds
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Heavier than usual menstrual periods
  • Bleeding from cuts, wounds and scrapes that takes too long to stop
  • Dark or blood-stained vomit
  • Severe headache or dizziness
  • Unexplained shock, paleness or weakness
  • Unexplained pain, swelling or discomfort

Other Xarelto Side Effects

Xarelto users should speak with their doctor if they experience any of the following side effects:

  • Tiredness, pale skin, breathlessness
  • Bruising
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea, indigestion, or stomach pain
  • Pain in the arms or legs
  • Constipation
  • Fever
  • Mild rash, itchy skin

The following Xarelto side effects require immediate medical attention:

  • Exceptional weakness, unexplained swelling
  • Breathlessness, chest pain
  • Signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Signs of liver problems such as yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice)
  • Prolonged or excessive bleeding from gums, nose etc.
  • Numbness in the arms and legs
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Oozing from a surgical wound
  • Coughing up blood
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

Legal Help for Those Harmed by Xarelto Bleeding Complications

Bernstein Liebhard LLP offers free legal reviews to victims of Xarelto bleeding side effects. To learn more, please call (888) 994-5118 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys.

  1. Xarelto (rivaroxaban) U.S. Food and Drug Administration (November 2012) Retrieved from: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm326654.htm
  2. Xarelto. Institute for Safe Medication Practices (January 2013) Retrieved from: http://www.ismp.org/quarterwatch/pdfs/2012Q2.pdf
Last Modified: July 22, 2016

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