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Doctors Are Ignoring Contraindications for Anticoagulant Drugs

Tony Tramontana

If your doctor is prescribing anticoagulant medicines for you, like Xarelto or Eliquis, beware. A recent study suggests that physicians aren’t following proper safety guidelines when prescribing these drugs. The 2 medications, along with similar anticoagulant drugs, come with safety warnings that doctors should know to follow.

Surprisingly and alarmingly, they’re not heeding these warnings; now, the doctors and drugs are increasingly subjects of personal injury lawsuits around the United Kingdom. Are American physicians being negligent as well?

The study, which the British Journal of General Practice published in June of 2017, includes data from 645 general medical practices that contribute to a large U.K. records database, the Health Improvement Network. Researchers’ examination of the data asserts that doctors might not be responsibly considering at-risk populations when they prescribe Xarelto and Eliquis, among other anticoagulants.

Contraindications for Anticoagulant Medications Should be Top Priority

Studies have found Xarelto, Eliquis, and other anticoagulant drugs to increase risk of bleeding excessively. Some people, due to their age, health condition, or even nationality, are more at risk for excessive bleeding than others. Therefore, they need careful attention. The new British Journal of General Practice study hints that doctors might be ignoring contraindications when it comes to prescribing Xarelto, Eliquis, and other anticoagulants.

Identifying Patients Who May Have Been Improperly Treated with Anticoagulant Drugs

Researchers studied data of patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF), which is a condition the FDA has approved to treat with anticoagulants. These patients were 35 years or older, were prescribed anticoagulants, and had contraindications for those drugs. This means that the patients had a medical condition, or another factor was present, that rendered a certain line of treatment undesirable or improper.

Results of the study showed that between 2004 and 2015, the percentage of patients having contraindications who were still given these medications increased. It actually bumped up from an already too-high 40% to an almost unbelievable 67.2% of patients.

As a note, prescriptions given to those without contraindications increased from 42.1% to 67.7%. Of the patients who experienced recent major bleeding in 2004, 44.3%, were prescribed anticoagulants. This number increased to 71.1% in 2015.

The study pointed to the unfortunate fact that the absence or presence of recorded contraindications had little to do with physicians’ decision to prescribe anticoagulant drugs. The study notes that roughly 38,000 patients with the AF condition get treatment in the form of anticoagulants each year.

Louisiana Residents and Anticoagulant Drug Safety

The U.K. study gives patients reason to question whether or not their physician in the United States is paying proper attention to contraindications when prescribing anticoagulants. Improper prescription practice has major implications for the safety of patients in the U.S. and here in our state of Louisiana.

Consider that:

  • There are more than 18,000 pending lawsuits against the manufacturers of Xarelto to date; patients who took the drug and claimed to bleed excessively afterward have filed these suits.
  • Federally filed lawsuits in the United States have been centralized in Louisiana, in the state’s Eastern District.

If you’ve been prescribed Xarelto or another anticoagulant drug, and you believe your doctor has failed to provide adequate safety warnings or has ignored safety warnings, contact us. Fill out the form on this page and someone from the law offices of Tony Tramontana will be in touch to discuss personal injury lawsuit options if you’ve been hurt by physician negligence.

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