When you feel your heart miss a beat, it may not be because you have found your soul mate. It may mean you have atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibirillation or A-fib is the most common of the arrhythmias or heart rhythm disorders. In general, you could go through your whole life with A-fib with no ill-effects, but in some severe cases it increases the risk of stroke. There are many ways to manage the consequences of A-fib, and one of them is through the drug Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate).
Pradaxa is an oral anti-coagulant which is designed to prevent strokes in people with nonvalvular A-fib. It is essentially a blood thinner, so it does not act on the heart itself, but on ensuring that any clotting resulting from the arrhythmia does not escalate into a stroke. Pradaxa replaced warfarin as the anti-coagulant of choice.
The biggest problem with Pradaxa, which is the reason why manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim is now a defendant in a multi-district litigation (MDL) action in Illinois, is that it may be thinning the blood too much that it induces internal bleeding for which there is as yet no solution. An article on the website of New York-based product liability law firm Hach & Rose, LLP, there was not enough research done on the risks associated with Pradaxa and that the lack of an antidote to the bleeding was a serious breach of the duty of care the drug company owed its clients. The administration of Vitamin K, traditionally a counteracting agent to anti-coagulants, does not work with Pradaxa.
Pradaxa was approved for human use by the Food and Drug Administration in the last quarter of 2010 and to date, 542 deaths have been associated with it. More than 1,000 plaintiffs are represented in a pending class action suit (MDL No. 2385) in the Southern District of Illinois.
If you or a family member has been prescribed with Pradaxa and suffered from internal bleeding, you may be eligible to bring a case against Boehringer Ingelheim. Contact a product liability lawyer in your area with experience in handling Pradaxa lawsuits to have your case assessed.