In the US, Rivaroxaban, an anticoagulant or blood-thinning drug, is sold under the generic name Xarelto. Its manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Health Care, intended this prescription as an alternative to Warfarin, which has been in the market since 1954, and as a competitor to Pradaxa, which gained FDA approval in 2010.

Xarelto was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011 for patients recuperating from a surgery on the knee and hip replacement surgery, and for those suffering from atrial fibrillation, which is irregularity in heartbeat, pulmonary embolism, which is blood clotting in the lungs, and deep vein thrombosis or DVT, a condition wherein blood clots form in deep veins, typically in the legs.

To prevent blood from clotting, Xarelto slows down the production of Factor Xa, the necessary protein that enables thrombin to form (a thrombin is blood plasma enzyme that causes blood clotting). This capability makes Xarelto (and Pradaxa) the first types of direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI) drugs approved by the FDA.

New generation blood thinners, however, have been found to cause severe internal bleeding, their most dangerous, and often deadly, adverse effect. But in the case of Xarelto, bleeding is more serious, besides the fact that there is no available medication to reverse it (unlike the bleeding due to Warfarin, which can be altered by Vitamin K). Some of the other side-effects linked to Xarelto include the paralyzing spinal or epidural hematoma, stroke, heart-related illness, prolonged bleeding after a cut, frequent nosebleeds, brain hemorrhage, bleeding gums and heavy periods.

Millions of unsuspecting individuals in the US are prescribed with Xarelto every year, not even being informed of the risks they will be subjected to if they use the drug. Being made to suffer an injury that they do not deserve is too much injustice for them and their family.