There was a time when Trasylol, a clotting medication designed to help prevent bleeding, was one of the most frequently used drugs in America. In fact, it was used in one third of all cardiac bypass operations in America, according to CBS News. You'd think a drug used with such regularity was thoroughly tested and safe. Sadly, this was not the case with Trasylol.
Dr. Dennis Mangano conducted a large study including 5,065 patients in 17 countries on the effects of Trasylol. The results were shocking. The study revealed a correlation between Trasylol use and kidney failure. The five-year death rate for patients given Trasylol was 20.8 percent, compared to 15.8 percent for those given another drug, aminocaproic acid and 14.7 percent for those given tranexamic acid, according to U.S. News.
Other Trasylol side effects include increased risk of stroke, encephalopathy (i.e. a brain disorder that can lead to a coma), and heart attacks.
If you think the side effects are bad, the story behind Trasylol is even worse. It was approved by the FDA in 1993, but the warning signs surrounding the drug started to appear well before then. A doctor performed a study on the effects of Trasylol on animals and discovered the aforementioned risk of kidney failure. This study was done way back in the early 1980s. Bayer, the company which manufactured Trasylol, was dismissive of the findings.
Dr. Mangano's study was released in 2006 and his findings were so extensive that Bayer decided to address the concerns by commissioning their own study with a Harvard doctor named Alexander Walker. He wound up substantiating the findings of Dr. Mangano. Shockingly, Bayer decided to withhold this information from the public.
It took Dr. Walker blowing the whistle on Bayer's dubious practices before the FDA took action. After years of delay, Trasylol was taken off the market in 2007, according to the U.S. News article. Dr. Mangano estimates roughly 22,000 lives were lost due to the FDA's inaction.
Here's a video of a 60 Minutes news report about the dangers of Trasylol...
The actions of Bayer are deplorable and the slow response by the FDA is highly questionable. Fortunately, there is a chance justice can be achieved in court. If you were given Trasylol, or you have a loved one who suffered an injury or a loss of life from this medication, I strongly urge you to consider hiring an attorney. This is a dangerous drug and Bayer should have taken action sooner to address the health risks. Please contact our office for a confidential, no-pressure consultation.