Blood Thinners Linked To Increased Hematuria Complications: Study

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The findings of a new study indicate that blood thinners of all types, known as antithrombotic medications, appear to increase the risk of hematuria-related complications. 

In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on October 3, Canadian researchers report an association between increases in red blood cells in urine and the use of oral antithrombotic agents, ranging from atrial fibrillation drugs like Xarelto and Pradaxa, to more commonly used blood thinners like aspirin.

Hematuria is often linked to other problems in the kidneys and urinary tract, from simple urinary tract infections to kidney stones or tumors.

The study looked at data from 2002 to 2014 involving citizens over 65 years of age in Ontario, Canada, who received oral anticoagulants, such as warfarin, Xarelto and Pradaxa, or antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin and Plavix.

According to the findings, about 800,000 patients were prescribed at least one antithrombotic agent over the period of the study. Researchers found that there were nearly 124 hematuria-related events per 1,000 person-years among those who took blood thinners. That compared to only about 80 such events per 1,000 person-years among those who did not take the drugs.

Those who took blood thinners experienced an increased risk of hematuria-related urologic procedures, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits. They were also more likely to be diagnosed as having bladder cancer within six months of taking the drugs, according to the findings.

The study comes amid increased concerns that a new generation of blood thinners designed to replace the atrial fibrillation drug, warfarin, have increased risks of lethal bleeding events due to a lack of a reversal agent.

Warfarin, known by the brand name Coumadin, has been a medical standard for decades. In recent years, the drug has faced increased competition from these new novel oral anticoagulants, which have been promoted as safer alternatives, since they do not require the same close blood monitoring. However, unlike warfarin, where the blood thinning effects of the drug can be quickly reversed if a bleed develops, concerns about emerged about the safety of these new drugs since there was no antidote at the time they were approved.

Eliquis, Xarelto, Pradaxa and other new-generation anticoagulants have been linked to a large number of reports involving uncontrollable bleeding problems, as some doctors have been left unable to stop hemorrhaging that occurs among users.

Tens of thousands of Xarelto lawsuitsPradaxa lawsuits and Eliquis lawsuits have been filed against the makers of these new-generation drugs, alleging that insufficient warnings were provided about the potential side effects and lack of a well established reverse agent.

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