Recent studies suggest that Xarelto, a blood thinner, can be passed between mother and fetus through the umbilical cord. This is a drug which has faced increased criticism in recent years for risks related to uncontrolled bleeding.
What is Xarelto?
It is an anticoagulant intended to prevent blood clots in people who have atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia, or a problem with the rhythm of heartbeat. It is a relatively recent drug which stole much of the limelight from the tried-and-true blood thinner Warfarin (also called Coumadin). Xarelto was heralded as a breakthrough because there was no need for regular medical monitoring or dietary restrictions.
However, Xarelto has some problems. It quickly became clear that, unlike Warfarin, it is more difficult to stop uncontrolled bleeding when it arises. With Warfarin, bleeding can be quickly stopped by administering Vitamin K. Xarelto users have fewer options to limit uncontrolled bleeding.
Why Is Xarelto Concerning for Pregnant Women?
Many women use drugs like Warfarin or Xarelto during pregnancy. It can help to prevent blood clots due to atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and after surgery. It has been known for some time that use in pregnant women had no studies to determine the pros and cons. However, now it seems that there is good cause for revising the drug’s warnings.
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported recently that, through the efforts of medical experts in Canada, there now appears to be evidence that Xarelto is rapidly transferred between mother and child through the umbilical cord. It’s not yet clear what effect, if any, the drug will have on a developing fetus.
If you have questions about anticoagulants like warfarin and Xarelto, contact our medical malpractice lawyers. You can reach us at (440) 252-4399 or online for a free consultation.