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What is Xarelto?
Xarelto, also known as rivaroxaban, is an anticoagulant. It keeps blood from clotting by blocking the creation of thrombin in the clotting sequence. 1 Thrombin is a precursor of fibrin, the “web” that stabilizes clots. 2
Xarelto and other direct thrombin inhibitors are classified as Factor Xa inhibitors (explained more in the following paragraphs).
Comparing Xarelto to Other Blood Thinners
Until Xarelto (and its direct competitors) entered the marketplace, low molecular weight heparin was the “newest” anticoagulant in use. 3 Other versions of heparin, along with warfarin, were approved in the U.S. approximately 60 years ago. 4 5 6
Warfarin has a narrow therapeutic range, necessitating frequent blood monitoring and following a restrictive diet. 7 Xarelto and its competitors were hailed as being more convenient to dose orally—sans blood monitoring—and were approved with no dietary restrictions. 8 Additionally, Xarelto’s manufacturer touted other advantages. Any dose lower than 15 mg didn’t have to be taken with food, and it was the first anticoagulant in its class to offer once-daily dosing.1 (Pradaxa, the first Factor Xa inhibitor to market, requires twice-daily dosing. 9)
Xarelto’s FDA-Approved Uses
|FDA Approval||Indications (Use)|
|July 2011||Reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) after knee or hip replacement surgery|
|Nov. 2011||Reducing the risk of stroke in people with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF)|
|Nov. 2012||Treating DVT or PE and reducing the risk of recurrence after initial treatment|