If you are at high risk for heart attack or stroke, your doctor may have recommended that you take a prescription anticoagulant medication. Anticoagulants help keep your blood thin so that it can flow effortlessly through arteries that are blocked by plaque or calcification.
While effective in preventing blood clots, prescription anticoagulant medications can lead to life-threatening health conditions. If you have experienced a long-term medical condition or disability as a result of your blood thinning medicine, contact a personal injury attorney to see if you should pursue legal action. Here are three ways your anticoagulant may harm your health:
If you notice blood in your stool, you may be experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding related to your prescription anticoagulant drug. While gastrointestinal bleeding usually subsides once you stop taking the drug, you should never stop taking it without consulting with your health care provider.
Doing so may raise your risk for developing a life-threatening cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. If your medication causes gastrointestinal bleeding, your doctor may discontinue it and prescribe aspirin, which may be less likely to cause adverse reactions.
A cerebral hemorrhage refers to bleeding in the brain. While this can be linked to high blood pressure, it can also be the result of taking anticoagulants. If you develop stroke-like symptoms such as facial drooping, inability to speak, difficulty swallowing, severe headache, or paralysis, seek emergency medical attention.
These manifestations may indicate the presence of a cerebral hemorrhage, and prompt intervention needs to be initiated to help reduce the risk of permanent disability. If you suffered a cerebral hemorrhage due to your anticoagulants, your personal injury attorney will work with your physician to determine if you should move forward with litigation.
In addition to the above health conditions, prescription anticoagulants can lead to anemia because of abnormal bleeding. This type of bleeding is often silent and internal. If you become pale, lightheaded, dizzy, have a fast heart rate, or experience shortness of breath, see your doctor right away.
He or she will recommend a simple test known as a complete blood count that will include a hemoglobin and hematocrit level. If you are diagnosed with anemia, your health care provider may prescribe iron supplements to help reverse your condition. Once your blood tests revert to normal, your symptoms will improve.
If you develop any of the above conditions and have suffered long-term or permanent disability, contact a personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to substantial monetary damages for your pain and suffering and your medical care.