Xarelto Overview - All About Factor Xa Inhibitors
Xarelto® blood thinner medication is one of the most popular anticoagulants on the market today. Prescription blood thinners earn nearly $1 billion annually in U.S. sales. Anticoagulants help prevent blood clots and more serious medical complications such as strokes, heart attacks, or pulmonary embolisms. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 4.2 million Americans aged 18 and older take blood thinners. Xarelto is among the most popular prescription brands available, comprising 17.5% of current market sales. If you’re a new blood thinner patient, read our Xarelto overview to decide whether it’s right for you.
Xarelto Overview: How Does Xarelto Work?
Xarelto’s also known as rivaroxaban, which is the drug’s generic name. It works by blocking certain clotting proteins (called Factor Xa) within your blood. Xarelto belongs to a new wave of blood thinners that’s taking over a category dominated for decades by warfarin (Coumadin®). Thanks to warfarin’s comparatively low cost, it’s still widely used by 54% of blood thinner patients. Xarelto doesn’t require monthly blood monitoring visits with your doctor, but Coumadin does.
Xarelto is manufactured by drug giant Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Rivaroxaban initially hit Canadian markets in 2008, but was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2011.
On November 2, 2012, the FDA approved Xarelto to treat DVT (deep vein thrombosis) as well as PE (pulmonary embolism). “Today’s approvals distinguish Xarelto as having the broadest profile of any of the new oral anticoagulants in the U.S. market today or coming to market in the foreseeable future,” said the company’s press release.
Xarelto Overview: Who is Prescribed Xarelto Blood Thinner Medication?
Xarelto helps reduce stroke and blood clot risks for atrial fibrillation patients. It also prevents deep vein thrombosis (DVT) as well as pulmonary embolism (DE). Xarelto can also reduce recurrence risks for both conditions. Physicians often prescribe Xarelto after knee or hip replacement surgery to prevent blood clots in the patient’s legs and lungs.
Xarelto Overview: Uncontrolled Bleeding Episode Risks
While many physicians prescribe Xarelto to treat DVT and PE, consumers weigh the drug’s risks. The most serious Xarelto danger is that currently, it has no antidote. That means doctors cannot restore normal blood clotting during emergency surgery or to stop a major bleeding episode. Patients taking warfarin (the most popular prescription blood thinner for 60 years) use Vitamin K to reverse its anticoagulant effects. Unfortunately, Xarelto patients don’t have that option.
Dr. Charles Pollack, emergency physician at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, says: “[Major bleeding events] may be uncommon, but they’re memorable when they happen. We didn’t have a specific reversal strategy for these drugs, and I think that left people feeling a bit insecure.”
Other possible Xarelto side effects include:
- Pain in arms as well as legs
- Muscle pain
- Muscle spasms
If either you or a loved one take Xarelto blood thinner medication, consider the risks you face without an antidote. If you had a major bleeding episode or other serious complication while taking Xarelto, you may qualify for compensation. Because Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to warn the public about Xarelto’s risks, thousands of product liability lawsuits are now pending. In December 2017, a jury ordered Janssen to pay plaintiff Lynn Hartman a $27.8 million settlement. Hartman, who lives in Indiana with her husband, won $26 million in punitive damages and $1.7 million in compensatory damages.
Check eligibility for compensation.
If you or a loved one developed life-threatening Xarelto complications (such as uncontrolled bleeding), you may qualify for compensation from the manufacturer. Request your free case evaluation now to see if you may qualify.