Subscribe to Email Updates

Why I Didn’t Switch From Warfarin To Xarelto: A Personal Story

By Keith Stachowiak on July 21, 2015 // Leave a Comment

At Murphy & Prachthauser, we take pride in being good lawyers who help people, stay safe. As such, I wanted to share my own personal story with you.medication-personal-injury

Because of a rare blood disorder, my primary care physician recommended I use Warfarin, an anticoagulant intended to prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. I realized how important it was to be on it, but the constant monitoring was inconvenient. Warfarin users require regular blood draws; first every other day, then every fourth day, then every week, then every two weeks. The blood tests check the INR, a measure of the clotting potential of the blood. If the blood test showed I was out of the therapeutic range, I would need to adjust the times I took the medication, or the dosage, and then the blood monitoring would start again every other day, then every fourth day, etc. I would need to schedule the blood draws around my client appointments, and it seemed like I was driving to the lab an awful lot. An alternative medication option that did not require constant monitoring, called Xarelto, sparked my interest.

What Is Xarelto?

Xarelto is a blood thinner used primarily for prevention of stroke and embolism in patients with certain heart conditions. It can be used to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) in people undergoing knee or hip surgery. It can be used to treat people who have already had clotting problems, which was my situation. Xarelto approved for use in the United States in 2011. It is the second most prescribed anti-clotting medication behind Warfarin.

The History Of Warfarin And Xarelto

Warfarin is and has been the most popular anti-coagulant prescribed to date. It was developed here in Wisconsin, and gets its name from the Wisconsin Alumni Retirement Foundation (WARF), the entity that has benefitted from the sale of the drug. Xarelto was developed by Bayer Healthcare and is being sold through a licensing agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The drug had annual sales of $1.5 billion in 2014.

The Touted Benefits Of Xarelto

What I remembered being told about Xarelto by my doctor was that it was touted as solving the problem with the frequent trips to the lab for blood testing. It did not require, I was told, the constant monitoring that I needed with Warfarin. It was marketed as a once a day dose, which was great because it’s a lot more difficult to forget to take a single pill at the same time everyday, than it is to take the medications twice a day at the same time. My job as a personal injury attorney can involve long hours, and I would get distracted and occasionally miss a dose, which was not recommended.

As such, Xarelto seemed like a perfect product for me, once a day before I left for the office and no more running to the lab for blood tests.

Why My Doctor Recommended Warfarin Over Xarelto

When I spoke with my primary care doctor, she strongly suggested that I stick with Warfarin. I remember her saying that the heart doctors love Xarelto, but the Emergency Room (ER) surgeons hate it. Her experience was that the effects of Warfarin could be quickly reversed in the ER if you are injured and bleeding externally and internally. According to my doctor, that was not the case for Xarelto. Knowing I have a fairly active life style, any injury could turn into a major problem. I declined changing over, and later learned I was fortunate I did so.

Do You Have A Personal Injury Case Involving The Use of Xarelto?

We are currently reviewing cases for individuals who have been on Xarelto and have experienced bleeding episodes that could not be controlled. If you or an immediate family member would like us to review a potential case involving this drug, please contact us to discuss your legal options.

At Murphy & Prachthauser we practice personal injury law the way it should be practiced – motivated and equipped to do our best for you. We take pride in being good lawyers who help people.

If you have a case you would like to speak to a lawyer about, please contact us to schedule a free consultation and get an experienced team of lawyers working on your behalf. 

New Call-to-action