Plavix and Intracranial Bleeding Side Effects

Plavix lawsuits may arise from side effects like intracranial bleeding. If you have been adversely affected by the blood thinner, contact a Plavix attorney for legal help.

Researchers and health officials have warned consumers that the blood thinner Plavix may expose patients to an increased risk of potentially fatal side effects, including intracranial bleeding. Plavix (clopidogrel) is a prescription drug known as a blood thinner, which is commonly used in combination with aspirin to inhibit blood clotting in patients with peripheral vascular disease, coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. Plavix falls into a category of medications called thienopyridines, which function by decreasing the activity of platelets, making them less likely to form blood clots which can lead to adverse events like stroke or heart attack. Plavix was approved by the FDA in 1997 and is currently manufactured by drug firms Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

Despite the fact that Plavix has been heavily marketed as providing greater cardiovascular benefits than aspirin while being easier on the stomach, the potential for the drug to cause major side effects may significantly outweigh any possible benefits of the treatment. If you took the blood thinner Plavix and have since suffered from a serious side effect, like intracranial bleeding, consult a Plavix attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a Plavix lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

Intracranial Bleeding Symptoms and Complications

Intracranial bleeding occurs when a blood vessel within the skull is ruptured or begins to leak, resulting from physical trauma, nontraumatic causes (such as a ruptured aneurysm), or anticoagulant therapy (Plavix). Intracranial bleeding is a serious medical emergency because the buildup of blood within the skull can lead to increased intracranial pressure, which can crush critical brain tissue or limit its blood supply. Severe increases in intracranial pressure can also cause life-threatening brain herniation, in which parts of the brain are squeezed past structures in the skull.

FDA Warnings and Plavix Side Effect Studies

The FDA required Plavix makers to update the drug's warning label in 2003 to include the increased risk of intracranial bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attack, stroke and ulcerative colitis. In 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine published a revealing study in which patients taking the blood thinner Plavix were a shocking twelve times more likely to experience cerebral bleeding, recurrent ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding, compared to patients treated with aspirin and a heartburn pill. Researchers also indicated that Plavix may actually impair the healing of ulcers and increase the risk of recurrent bleeding.

It was previously believed that Plavix therapy used in combination with aspirin would reduce the risk of a second heart attack in patients. Instead, researchers found the drug nearly doubled the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in patients with no history of heart disease. In 2006, the NEJM published an additional study indicating that taking Plavix with aspirin was not significantly more effective than taking aspirin alone in reducing the rate of stroke, heart attack, or death from cardiovascular causes, and may actually expose patients to a higher risk of side effects. In 2010, the FDA added a "black box" warning to Plavix, alerting the public that certain patients are at a high risk of treatment failure.

Plavix Attorneys for Side Effects

Intracranial bleeding is an extremely dangerous side effect, which can lead to life-threatening complications in patients. If you or a loved one has suffered from an intracranial bleeding side effect, which you believe to be associated with Plavix, consult an experienced Plavix attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Plavix lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical bills resulting from injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. With the help of a knowledgeable Plavix lawyer, victims of potential Plavix side effects can collect the compensation they deserve and bring public attention to the potentially harmful nature of the pharmaceutical drug.

Prescription Drugs in The News