Patient Has Irreversible Brain Bleed After Taking Pradaxa
In Severe Cases, No Treatment to Reverse Bleeding Caused by the Blood Clot Drug
Boehringer Ingelheim's drug Pradaxa has what appears to be a significant problem associated with it: bleeding. And this bleeding cannot be stopped in some cases.
Given that doctors simply do not understand the risks and benefits of Pradaxa nearly as well as they understand the risks and benefits of the drug warfarin, any cases of irreversible bleeding raise serious issues as to the choice of using Pradaxa over warfarin.
Warfarin (which goes under the brand name of Coumadin) has been the front-line therapy for preventing blood clots and associated complications for more than 60 years. Warfarin also has bleeding risks, but unlike the new drug Pradaxa, managing the risk of hemorrhage is fairly well understood in the medical community.
A recent Reuters report describes an 83-year-old man who died after a fall. The fall was "routine," apparently, which possibly means that he had a high likelihood of recovering from the fall. But the man was on Pradaxa, and in two hours "superficial" bleeding turned into massive bleeding in his brain, leading to coma, and eventual death.
According to the Journal of Neurosurgery: "Familiarity with Pradaxa is critical in order for medical personnel to take quick action with admittedly limited available means to control catastrophic bleeding."