The News often gets bombarded with information regarding national recalls of all kinds of products. While we might hear about problems with tainted broccoli, defective baby seats, bad pet food, or toys that contain toxic paint, a lot of the news regarding prescription drug and other medical product recalls seems to fly a bit under the radar. If you regularly take prescription drugs (or over-the-counter medication for that matter), it’s important to stay informed when it comes to drug and medical product recalls. One drug that has received quite a bit of recent scrutiny is the blood thinning drug pradaxa. Pradaxa is currently being investigated as the main factor in hundreds of deaths caused by uncontrollable bleeding.
Pradaxa is a blood thinning medication used to decrease the chance of strokes and other complications amongst individuals with atrial fibrillation, which is the most common condition of cardiac arrhythmia or “irregular heartbeat”. Pradaxa has recently come under scrutiny and is being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its possible role in brain hemorrhaging, heart attacks, and serious bleeding and numerous other serious side effects.
Pradaxa was approved by the FDA as a replacement for Coumadin and began being prescribed to patients who were at risk of having strokes and other related complications. It is true that Pradaxa is incredibly effective as a blood thinner, which is the problem. The drug is so effective that hundreds of patients using the drug have died due to traumatic bleeding that resulted from otherwise minor injuries that would have been easily fixed had the individual not been taking Pradaxa. Many of these deaths took place in hospitals under the care of numerous doctors and health professionals who were simply helpless to stop the bleeding.
One source suggests that the use of Pradaxa is responsible for 260 deaths amongst the users of the drug. Regardless, the FDA continues to claim that “Pradaxa provides an important health benefit when used as directed.” In addition a spokesperson from Boehringer, the company that makes Pradaxa, told the Houston Press that “260 recorded deaths are not outside the parameters of a major clinical trial that the FDA and its global counterparts relied on in approving the drug in the first place.”