How Dangerous are Blood Thinners?
Every day we hear new stories regarding the current opioid epidemic but are there other prescription drugs that cause a greater health threat? Anticoagulants or blood thinners are very common but are the risk associated with their use known to the public? Like every prescription drug there are benefits with inherit risks associated risks.
Why Would I Need a Blood Thinner?
More than 2 million people take blood thinners every day. Blood thinners work by stopping blood from coagulating or joining together. This is helpful when preventing blood clots or to minimize an already existing clot.
According to a recent report published by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) the prescription medications most likely to require an emergency room visit are anticoagulants – also known as blood thinners. These include drugs like Xarelto, Pradaxa and warfarin, all of which use different biochemical interactions to prevent blood from clotting.
What Makes Them Dangerous?
The biggest pitfall of these medications is that even a minor injury can turn fatal. Even a small cut runs the risk of not being able to stop bleeding. Without constant monitoring, many people discard seemingly minor injuries. A minor trip down the stairs could be shrugged off. But, since the body can’t stop the bleeding fatal internal bleeding can occur.
For the millions of patients on blood thinner it is imperative that dosing of their prescription drugs is constantly monitored and adjusted based on a blood test patient have done at least every other week to measure the effect of the drug. This is important because if the dosing is too high it can increase a patient’s risk of bleeding; if it’s too low, it won’t be as effective in preventing clots and strokes.
Blood thinners have injured thousands of people and many have lost their lives. However, these potentially fatal medications are still on the market, and many users are not aware of the dangerous side effects. The manufacturers should inform you about the long-term risks associated with the medications you take. Despite being used since the 1950s, anticoagulants still carry serious risks for patients. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), called anticoagulants “the highest risk outpatient drug treatment in older patients.”
At The Law Office of Luis Cartaya, PA we are advocates for consumers who have been harmed by dangerous products, and we have the experience necessary to successfully litigate these cases. Contact us now if you or a family member have any questions or concerns.