Blood Home > What Is Rivaroxaban Used For?
Rivaroxaban for Blood Clot Treatment
Rivaroxaban is approved to both treat blood clots deep in the veins of the body, known medically as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and of the lungs, which is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT clots typically occur in the legs or hips. They can be especially dangerous if the clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, where it may cause a pulmonary embolism.
Rivaroxaban is approved to treat DVT or PE blood clots and to prevent them from recurring.
Atrial fibrillation is a type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that occurs when the electrical system that controls the heartbeat is no longer working properly. It occurs in the atria of the heart (the upper chambers).
Symptoms may include an irregular heart rhythm, a rapid heart rate, heart palpitations (the sensation that your heart is racing or pounding), or feeling like your heart is fluttering (see Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation). With atrial fibrillation, both the heart rhythm and rate are abnormal.
These arrhythmias may cause certain complications, such as:
- Pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung)
- Systemic embolism (a blood clot anywhere else)
- Congestive heart failure (CHF).
The goals of treatment for atrial fibrillation usually include one or more of the following:
- Return the heartbeat to a normal sinus rhythm, if possible
- Control the heart rate, if normal sinus rhythm cannot be achieved safely
- Prevent blood clots from forming by prescribing an anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medication, such as Pradaxa®
- Treat the underlying causes of the abnormal rhythm and any atrial fibrillation complications
- Reduce the risk factors that may lead to a worsening of the condition.
Rivaroxaban has several potential advantages over warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), the drug most commonly used for anticoagulation in people with atrial fibrillation in the past. Warfarin can be very tricky to dose properly, and frequent monitoring and dosage adjustment is often necessary. Rivaroxaban dosing is simple and straightforward, with no need for frequent monitoring. Warfarin interacts with many foods; rivaroxaban does not.
Potential disadvantages for rivaroxaban include the fact that the drug cannot be readily reversed (like warfarin can) and is more expensive.