With so many new prescription blood thinners available, how can you tell which drug is right for you? While your physician may recommend one in particular because it’s newer, it may not be ideal for treating your condition. Although some medications are used almost interchangeably, it doesn’t make them all as safe, effective, or inexpensive as their counterparts. Below, we review two commonly prescribed blood thinners: Xarelto vs Warfarin. Our Xarelto vs Warfarin comparison includes average drug costs, side effects and FDA warnings, plus legal actions involving each drug.
Xarelto vs Warfarin: Comparing Drug Costs, Side Effects & FDA Warnings
Xarelto (Generic Name: Rivaroxaban)
This new anticoagulant helps prevent blood clots from forming, especially if you have atrial fibrillation or need blood thinners post-surgery. It is also used to treat patients with blood clots, DVT, and PE.
Xarelto cost: $5,856 per year
Xarelto side effects:
- Easy bruising
- minor bleeding
- serious bleeding (including unusual pain/swelling, prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums, persistent nosebleeds, heavy menstrual flow, coughing up blood)
- vomit that is bloody
- severe headache
- bloody stools
- difficulty swallowing
Is there a Xarelto antidote? YES! The FDA approved AndexXa in May 2018
Xarelto FDA warnings: In 2013, the FDA received 593 Xarelto bleeding event reports. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning about Xarelto. Because the drug had no antidote then (unlike its counterpart warfarin), a serious bleeding incident could be fatal. Luckily, the FDA finally approved a Factor Xa inhibitor antidote for Xarelto as well as Eliquis in 2018.
Prescription required for Xarelto? Yes
Xarelto lawsuit/settlement history: A family first wrongful death lawsuit against Xarelto in 2014. Since then, over 25,000 claims headed to court. While the drug’s manufacturers won six bellwether trial cases, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle all pending claims in March 2019. Any Xarelto patient may now qualify for part of this $775 million payout if they meet the settlement deadline.
Warfarin (Brand Name: Coumadin)
A longstanding blood thinner that helps prevent blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE).
Warfarin cost: $200 per year
Warfarin side effects: Nausea, loss of appetite, stomach, abdominal pain, serious bleeding
Does Warfarin have an antidote? Yes
Warfarin FDA warnings: In 2011, the FDA warned that taking warfarin while pregnant could cause fetal harm. The agency stated, “Exposure to warfarin during the first trimester of pregnancy caused a pattern of congenital malformations in about 5% of exposed offspring.”
Prescription required for Warfarin? Yes
Warfarin lawsuit/settlement history: Many patients sued Warfarin’s manufacturer for failing to warn consumers about potential birth defect risks. However, since Warfarin is less popular now due to newer blood thinners like Xarelto, suing may be difficult. That’s especially true because a warfarin antidote exists (doctors dose patients with Vitamin K).
Xarelto vs Warfarin: Why Do Doctors Recommend One Over the Other?
Many doctors initially recommended newer anticoagulant Xarelto over Warfarin because it doesn’t require monthly blood monitoring appointments. Patients scheduling monthly blood draws to check Warfarin’s efficacy were thrilled to have an alternative. Still others were tired of limiting leafy greens in their diet (like spinach) which are naturally rich in Vitamin K. Xarelto patients can eat whatever they like and avoid monthly blood monitoring tests. However, at $448/month, Xarelto is much more expensive. For nearly a decade, no Xarelto reversal agent existed to stop emergency bleeds.
Only you can decide which blood thinner best meets your health needs when comparing Xarelto vs Warfarin. If you prefer fewer blood tests and don’t eat foods containing Vitamin K, you might choose Xarelto. Since the FDA approved Xarelto antidote AndexXa in May 2018, patients won’t risk bleeding out from injuries or surgery. However, Xarelto can still cause uncontrolled internal bleeding, which leads to many patients suffering serious complications.
Check Your Eligibility for This $775 Million Xarelto Settlement
If you took Xarelto and experienced uncontrolled bleeding, you may qualify for compensation. In May 2019, Xarelto’s manufacturers agreed to settle more than 25,000 injury claims for $775 million. Time to claim part of this payout is limited, so don’t wait! Act now and fill out your free claim evaluation form online today. Once you submit your information, an experienced attorney will call to discuss your case. This required phone call is your first step towards getting the justice and compensation you deserve.
Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.