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Anticoagulants such as Xarelto among the highest-risk outpatient drugs

February 13th, 2015

Anticoagulants, which are designed to reduce the likelihood of blood clots by thinning the blood, are among the highest risk outpatient drugs, according to the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices (ISMP). The three most-prescribed anticoagulants include Xarelto, Pradaxa and warfarin, which have accounted for thousands of adverse events and hundreds of deaths.

Studies have found that lower doses of Xarelto may actually increase the risk of blood clot-related events and blood thinner side effects. Patients who were given 10mg doses of the drug after receiving hip or knee surgery were more likely to suffer Xarelto side effects than patients who were given a 20mg dose of the drug or none at all.

Xarelto side effects include pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and internal hemorrhaging, all of which can be fatal. More than 180 deaths have been reported due to Xarelto, and nearly 1,000 cases of hospitalization due to severe complications from Xarelto.

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