Warning To Patients: Beware Of This New Stroke Drug
Xarelto is prescribed to prevent blood clots and to protect people from strokes. The drugs generic name, rivaroxaban, is one of the newest anticoagulants developed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s New Jersey unit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The blood thinner is supposed to prevent clots that can obstruct the blood flow to the vital organs. However, this stroke drug differs from older versions because this anticoagulant is an oral type that is prescribed in one uniform dose. Older versions require doctors to prescribe specific doses for each individual.Xarelto is FDA approved for use in patients who have had knee or hip replacements surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots which furthermore reduces the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation (AF). Another FDA approved use of the drug also includes individuals who suffer from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
Unfortunately, the exact reason why people take this stroke drug is also one of the drugs most severe side effects of Xarelto. When bleeding occurs near a major organ such as the brain, lungs or kidneys, blood flow to that organ is interrupted, causing it to lose some or all of its functionality. This uncontrolled bleeding can cause irreversible damage that can lead to hospitalization or even death.
Studies that Show Risk
Information gathered from the reports associated with the FDA show that some patients may actually be at an increased risk for serious clots if they proceed to take Xarelto. Patients who had hip or knee replacement surgery had the highest risk, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). These clots may trigger strokes or heart attacks if they travel to the brain. Moreover, a British study in 2012 presented at the yearly meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons showed that people who took Xarelto had a major return-to-surgery rate within a month. Doctors in the study stopped prescribing the dug when “large, fresh wounds” were involved. Another one of the first published studies linking the blood thinner to these new complications appeared in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2012.