Rivaroxaban (Xarelto®) is a prescription medicine used to prevent potentially dangerous blood clots (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) from forming after a surgery to replace a knee or hip. It also prevents blood clots and strokes in people with an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. It is also approved to treat blood clots and to prevent them from recurring.
Rivaroxaban works by blocking a clotting factor known as Factor Xa. It is not a heparin medication and does not affect blood platelets. Like other "blood thinners," rivaroxaban does not break down clots. Instead, it slows down clot formation, giving the body a chance to break down the clots naturally.
(To learn more about this drug's mechanism of action, click Rivaroxaban. This article covers several topics, such as potential side effects, dosing guidelines, and general safety precautions to discuss with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 4, 2011.
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