What is XARELTO®?
XARELTO® belongs to a group of medicines called direct oral anticoagulants, or DOACs for short. Like other DOACs, XARELTO® has no known dietary restrictions, no requirements for frequent blood tests, and few drug interactions.
XARELTO® helps prevent blood clots in the legs and lungs after knee or hip replacement surgery.
More than 80 million people in the US alone have been prescribed XARELTO®.
How does XARELTO® work?
XARELTO® slows your body's ability to clot by selectively blocking one of the clotting factors found in your blood–an enzyme called Factor Xa ("10a").
Take one 10-mg tablet once a day, with or without food
Tablets shown not actual size
How do you take XARELTO®?
- Take XARELTO® once a day with or without food.
- If you miss a dose of XARELTO®, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking XARELTO® unless your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may change your dose if needed.
- Remember, there are no known dietary restrictions, unlike warfarin (Coumadin®).
How can a surgery cause a blood clot?
Knee or hip replacement surgery may help you live a more active, pain-free life. However, like after any surgery, you have an increased risk of getting blood clots in your legs or lungs. Some people are at an even higher risk, based on their medical history, age, and some medications they take. In general, however, there are three reasons that blood has a tendency to form potentially dangerous blood clots after surgery.
1. Your blood flows too slowly through your veins
When your blood flows freely, it mixes with naturally occurring anticoagulants in your blood that help keep it from clotting and keep it flowing smoothly. When you’re not moving around—like after surgery—your blood flow slows down and doesn’t mix with those anticoagulants. This makes blood clots more likely to form.
2. Surgery releases particles into your bloodstream
When you have surgery, it’s possible for small particles of matter like tissue, collagen, or fat to be released into your bloodstream. Your blood will then thicken around these foreign particles. If too many of them clump together, they can form a clot large enough to block blood flow.
3. Your natural blood-clotting processes are more active after surgery
When your surgeon moves soft tissues like ligaments, muscles, or tendons in order to reach the joint being operated on, this sometimes triggers your body to release substances that promote blood clotting. A similar thing happens when a surgeon needs to work with your bones—like when they are preparing the area to receive your new, artificial joint.
Why are blood clots serious?
- A clot in a deep vein of the body, usually in the lower leg or thigh, is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Many times, people with a DVT may not even know they have it. DVT is a serious condition that can lead to a pulmonary embolism (PE).
- A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. This can cause you to have trouble breathing, chest pain, and blackouts. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 or get to an emergency room right away.
- In rare cases, a blood clot can break off and travel to the brain, blocking blood flow to the brain and causing a stroke.
Are there any side effects associated with XARELTO® in adults?
Side effects of XARELTO®:
Increased risk of bleeding
- You are likely to bruise more easily and it may take longer for the bleeding to stop
Your risk of bleeding increases if you take XARELTO® with other medicines that also increase your risk of bleeding, such as:
- Aspirin or aspirin-containing products
- Long-term (chronic) use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Warfarin sodium (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
- Any medicine that contains heparin
- Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Other medicines to prevent or treat blood clots
Always tell your healthcare professional if you experience any side effects while taking XARELTO®—keeping an open and honest conversation going with your healthcare professional will help you get the best care.