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Steven Davis
Steven Davis
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Did Your Relative Die from a Pradaxa Bleed?

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Risk increases with age – heart attack, weight gain, risk of stroke, blood pressure, and even our susceptibility for falls.

The risks associated with getting older are nothing new, but they are only one factor – just one consideration when assessing all the risks we face.

Sometimes when an elderly person passes away, factors other than aging are overlooked. Often, there’s no investigation, no serious questioning. The assumption is that getting older brings health risks. Yet, many times it’s more than just age that brings risk.

There are non-age explanations – factors that can be overlooked if not examined carefully. Sometimes, those explanations are medical treatments that are actually supposed to reduce risk. Pradaxa is one of those treatments.

Pradaxa (dabigitran) was introduced in late 2010 for the prevention of stroke among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Pradaxa was designed to thin blood and reduce blood clots, which can cause strokes.Yet, in the less than two years since its release, Boehringer Ingelheim’s anticoagulant Pradaxa is already beginning to create considerable controversy.

Recent studies have found that an increasing number of people who have suffered fatal or severe bleeding events may have done so as result of their use of Pradaxa. Many of these sufferers are elderly patients, patients whose age provides convenient alternative explanations for drug companies who are accused of harming patients.

Boehringer Ingelheim touts Pradaxa as a superior alternative to Coumadin (warfarin) and claims that Pradaxa requires less monitoring and is easier to use. However, if internal bleeding occurs while on warfarin, the bleeding can usually be quickly counteracted by a single dose of Vitamin K. This method does not work with Pradaxa, because there is no antidote.

From January 1, 2004 to March 31, 2012, nearly 15,000 serious adverse event reports have identified Pradaxa as the primary suspect drug.

As the number of deaths and life-altering side effects continue to grow, one has to wonder, what price will patients pay before corporations such as Boehringer Ingelheim take responsibility?

Growing old does not mean you have to accept unnecessary dangers. Growing old means adjusting to the world you live in, your relationships, your goals and how to affect them. Drugs like Pradaxa should not hinder this, nor should their manufacturers be able to hide behind a patient’s age.

If you or a family member has been prescribed Pradaxa and have suffered from bleeding, consult your doctor immediately.