Blood thinners: A leading cause of death in emergency rooms

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emergency room sign(NaturalHealth365) Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, have been around for many decades. During that time, these medications have been used to prevent clotting in patients who are at risk of complications of heart disease. Blood thinners come in many types – intravenous drugs like heparin and medications taken by mouth like warfarin and Pradaxa.

Since blood thinners are considered a ‘preventative’ medication, many doctors prescribe it believing the benefits outweigh the risks. However, a cardiologist from Duke University notes that blood thinners like warfarin are actually one of the leading causes of death in United States emergency rooms. Therefore, it is important to fully understand the dangerous side effects warfarin and other blood thinners before blindly accepting a doctor’s prescription for these medications.

What are the negative effects of blood thinners?

The side effects of warfarin are many and include fever, diarrhea, vomiting blood, dizziness, bruising, black or bloody stools, blood in urine, heavy menstrual bleeding and tissue death (necrosis). Each of these scary symptoms could signify internal bleeding and require immediate emergency medical attention. In fact, the drug’s links to increased bleeding risk and death forced manufacturers to add a ‘black box’ to the product’s label in 2006 that warns of the potentially deadly side effects of warfarin.

For many decades, warfarin was really the only option for administering blood thinners. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new type of blood thinner – Pradaxa. It was supposed to be easier to take than warfarin, just as effective, and still manage to cause fewer side effects. However, just two years after its approval, Pradaxa had already been blamed for more than 500 lives lost to hemorrhaging and internal bleeding.

Consumer alert: The deadly side effects of Pradaxa

There are many different Pradaxa side effects, some of which are considered common and others rare. Of the common side effects, the drug often causes bloody stools, vomiting of blood, and extreme digestive health issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, heartburn, constipation and indigestion.

Other Pradaxa side effects may be less common, yet they are still very dangerous. Some people who have taken Pradaxa have experienced dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat, hives, difficulty breathing and chest tightness.

The most serious side effect of this drug is the risk for irreversible internal bleeding – which is often fatal. In fact, the FDA reports that it reviewed more than 800 drugs for adverse events in 2011. Of them, Pradaxa caused the most deaths and injuries – with a reported 542 fatalities and 3,781 serious events.

Honestly, it’s beyond my comprehension, how can a drug company be allowed to continue doing business with this kind of track record?

Since most people do not experience overly severe side effects, many are deceived into believing that prescription blood thinners are ‘safe’. Current litigation against Pradaxa claims the drug maker failed to inform doctors that the medication lacks a reversal agent to help manage uncontrolled bleeding. Furthermore, many patients are unaware that blood thinners can have negative interactions with other medications and may be especially dangerous for individuals with certain conditions, such as kidney disease.

Bottom line, no one should ever prescribe or take a medication – especially one as dangerous as blood thinners – without first knowing every possible complication that could arise. As the old saying goes, ‘let the buyer beware.’

Reference:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17620536
http://www.drugwatch.com/pradaxa
http://www.drugwatch.com/2014/05/19/fda-blood-thinner-risks
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/14/us-drugs-bloodthinners-idUSBRE85D06G20120614

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  • jay

    No blood thinner required, unless the establishment wants you dead and off the rolls, eating a little ginger does a far better job than taking Warfarin rat poison.

    • technicallysane

      Agreed! My late husband died as a result of Warfarin and doctors recklessly prescribing it even though his health was already like a ticking time bomb.