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Xarelto Side Effects – How they Impact Patients
Xarelto, the brand name for the generic drug rivaroxaban, is a blood thinner. It is used in the treatment and prevention of blood clots. This means that Xarelto can be used to prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and PE (pulmonary embolism). For example, it is useful for people undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery, as it prevents them from suffering potentially fatal blood clots during surgery and recovery. It is also used for stroke prevention during atrial fibrillation. This is a type of heart failure dealing with the valves in the heart. It can lead to stroke by affecting blood flow to the brain.
However, in addition to these positive effects, using Xarelto may result in some undesired effects. These undesired effects are what are commonly known as side effects. The FDA tracks side effects noted both during clinical studies and reported during the use of the drug. Not all possible side effects have been reported to the FDA, so it is possible that you could suffer some other kind of side effect by taking Xarelto.
Most commonly, people taking Xarelto who have a negative reaction have some type of bleeding complication that causes them to be taken off the drug. These complications can be minor or major. People on other drugs that affect bleeding and blood thickness, such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and anticoagulants, are much more likely to suffer a bleeding complication while taking Xarelto than those who are not taking other medications in combination.
There are other negative responses that are possible from taking Xarelto that don’t include bleeding. For example, some users of Xarelto report that they suffer from muscles spasms and unexplained itching in their arms and legs. More serious conditions include fainting, which can occur at any point after the drug is taken and can be a problem if the user is operating a motor vehicle.
Xarelto is usually given out in 10 mg tablets. This medication is generally given in a dose of one tablet per day, taken either with or without food. However, for users taking it for atrial fibrillation, it may be given in larger doses. The first dose should be taken about six to ten hours after surgery, if it is being used to prevent thrombosis.
The effects of Xarelto are not easily measured with standard laboratory equipment or in a hospital room. They are also not easily reversed with other medications. This means that it should not be taken by anyone with a clotting disorder, or by anyone taking other medications that affect clotting or blood thickness. If a negative response to the medication does occur, then a doctor would mostly likely tell you to stop taking rivaroxaban, not to prescribe another medication to be taken alongside it.
There is no advised dosage of Xarelto for pregnant women. Its usage during pregnancy has not been studied in clinical trials nor is it advised by the FDA. Therefore, rivaroxaban should only be used during pregnancy if the risks are outweighed by the benefits of using the medication. There may be risks to the unborn fetus that are unknown to the physician.
It is also unknown whether Xarelto comes through in breast milk for a nursing mother. Many drugs do come through the human body in this way and rivaroxaban, like other prescription medications, can cause a serious problem for a breastfeeding baby. Therefore, the mother must consider the value of taking a blood thinner in relation to her health and decide whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the use of the drug. Rivaroxaban should not be used by a woman who is continuing to breastfeed.
If Xarelto is used after spinal surgery, there is the potential for serious side effects. This is in the form of a spinal hematoma. A spinal hematoma is a buildup of blood in the spinal space. This can end up compressing the spinal cord, leading to major problems. This is a very rare side effect, however, and is only likely to occur in people with underlying bleeding disorders. If you are taking a blood thinning medication and notice pain in your back after spinal surgery, speak to your doctor as this may indicate a spinal hematoma.
The use of rivaroxaban has not yet been studied in pediatric patients. This means that its use should be weighed against the potential risks, similarly to the use in pregnant women. Only if the benefits are greater than the risks should this drug be given to pediatric patients. The FDA does not advise usage of this drug in children, since its efficacy in pediatric patients has not been studied either, but that is up to the prescribing physician.
The risks of using this medication are similar to the risks of using other anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin. During clinical trials, patients suffered adverse bleeding events with Xarelto at a rate of 4.3%, compared to 3.1% for warfarin. Other types of adverse events occurred at approximately the same rate.
Usually, adverse bleeding events were connected to recent surgery. More than sixty percent of the bleeding complications that occurred in connection with Xarelto happened to patients who were less than a week out of surgery. This means that if you are taking it in the long term, you are not likely to suffer a bleeding event.
Overall, Xarelto is considered to be a very safe drug, although it has faced multiple lawsuits in recent months. If you are at risk for stroke from atrial fibrillation, or could suffer a clot after surgery, your doctor may prescribe it to prevent this from happening. You are very unlikely to suffer any negative effects from using this medication, but it is always a good idea to be fully aware of all of the potential problems you could run into by taking it. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, be sure to discuss potential risks with your doctor before starting a course of any medication, since these situations have not been fully studied.
Make sure your doctor is aware of any other medications you are taking. The risks of Xarelto are much higher in combination with certain antibiotics, pain medications, and anticoagulants. Since the same doctor isn’t responsible for prescribing all your medications, you have to tell the doctor giving you the Xarelto everything else you have been given.