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The Truth About Trasylol

Trasylol, once a popular drug to control surgical bleeding, has been withdrawn from the market because of side effects

Trasylol is a drug that was approved in 1992 to control bleeding during cardiac bypass surgery. By 2005, the drug was used in one-third of all open-heart surgeries. In 2007,Trasylol was recalled after several studies linked the drug to kidney damage, kidney failure, and other serious complications.

Why Trasylol Was Used

Trasylol was primarily used during heart surgery. The drug, made by Bayer, worked by inhibiting specific enzymes that made bleeding more likely. Many patients may not have been aware that they were given the drug.

Trasylol was used to…

  • Control blood loss. The main reason that Trasylol was used was to control the loss of blood during a surgery. The drug altered the clotting mechanism in blood and may have reduced the need for transfusions during complex surgery.
  • Prevent bacterial infection. Trasylol was also used to prevent bacterial infection of the heart valves and the lining surrounding the heart.

Additionally, Trasylol was used when there was severe bleeding due to raised plasma levels, when there was a serious bleeding disorder, or when there was significant blood loss due to another type of major operation.

After heavy marketing the drug became very widely used during cardiac surgery.

The Dangers of Trasylol

In January 2006, Trasylol was linked to kidney and heart failure in respected publications including The New England Journal of Medicine and Transfusion. Specific conditions include:

  • Kidney failure.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Encephalopathy.

Some patients died from these complications.

How People Protected Their Rights After Being Hurt by Trasylol

Many people who received Trasylol during heart surgery and suffered one of the serious consequences listed above filed lawsuits against Bayer. The lawsuits were part of multidistrict litigation (MDL). In 2010, Bayer agreed to settle the lawsuits for at least $60 million. The settlement provided significant compensation to people who were hurt by this drug or to their survivors.

Since Trayslol was taken off of the market in 2007, lawsuits regarding damages from this drug have been resolved. However, many other dangerous drugs remain on the market, and it is important to be aware of the risks so that you can protect your health and your recovery if you are hurt.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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