Xarelto is an anticoagulant in a class called “direct factor Xa inhibitors.” Sometimes referred to as blood thinners, anticoagulants interfere with the normal clotting of the blood. Clotting is necessary to stop bleeding from an open wound. However, some people experience clotting when they are not injured.
In certain conditions, blood clots can be dangerous. Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood to pool in the heart and may lead to clots. If these travel to the brain, they may cause a stroke. Blood clots that develop in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) can cause serious complications and/or death if left untreated.
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was approved by the FDA in July of 2011 and is marketed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. Xarelto is a prescription medicine with three main uses:
- to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation
- to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
- to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery