Sign Up For FREE
Health After 50 Alerts!

We value your privacy and will never rent your email address

Health After 50

Xarelto: A New Drug for New Joints

Comments (1)

Each year hip and knee replacements give more than 1 million Americans an added spring in their step. Yet despite their success at restoring mobility, hip and knee replacement surgeries carry the risk of serious complications, such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.  Now, hip and knee recipients can avoid postsurgical clots without undergoing painful injections thanks to a new drug, Xarelto. 

In deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot develops within the leg or pelvis. If the clot breaks off and travels to a pulmonary artery, it can block blood flow to the lungs. The clot is then referred to as a pulmonary embolism and can be fatal. 

To prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, recipients of an artificial hip or knee receive a blood thinner to prevent dangerous clots. Until recently the optimal delivery method was injection -- an unpopular treatment mode because of the pain and inconvenience. 

In July 2011, the Food and Drug Administration green-lighted Xarelto (rivaroxaban) as a means of preventing blood clots in patients receiving a hip or knee replacement. Taken once a day in tablet form, Xarelto inhibits clotting factor Xa. Another factor Xa inhibitor, the widely used Lovenox (enoxaparin), must be injected once or twice a day.

Comparing Xarelto with Coumadin. Xarelto isn't the only blood thinner administered orally. Warfarin (Coumadin), a vitamin K antagonist, is another oral medication designed to reduce the risk of clotting. But Coumadin doesn't work as fast or as consistently as Xarelto and presents a greater risk of complications. Coumadin takes days to reach therapeutic levels, and patients on the drug must be frequently monitored. 

In studies of more than 6,000 individuals on Xarelto, patients on the new blood thinner were 50 percent less likely to have undesirable clotting after knee replacement than those taking Lovenox. Among hip replacement patients, Xarelto users were 3.5 to 4.2 times less likely to experience clotting than Lovenox users. 

Other factor Xa inhibitor drugs prescribed to prevent clotting include generic versions of enoxaparin, fondaparinux (Arixtra), dalteparin (Fragmin) and heparin. Each is delivered by injection only. 

Posted in Arthritis on January 16, 2012

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

Notify Me

Would you like us to inform you when we post new Arthritis Health Alerts?

Post a Comment


Health After 50 Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Scientific American Health After 50 or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.

All these cheap ray ban sunglasses can be found in ray ban sunglasses cheap shapes and hues; ray ban sunglasses sale offering you a bigger variety in order to ray ban aviator sale select from. This cheap ray ban wayfarer can be found in colorings

Posted by: ccocoo | January 10, 2013 1:25 AM

Post a Comment

Already a subscriber?


Forgot your password?

New to Health After 50?

Register to submit your comments.



Forgot Password?

Health Topic Pages