Xarelto Uses and Dosages
The drug Xarelto was approved in 2011 by the FDA. Since that time, it has been prescribed as an anticoagulant for the treatment of a variety of conditions. While the drug has shown the ability to help many patients who need blood thinning, it has also proven to be dangerous due to some significant side effects – specifically, the potential for uncontrolled bleeding. Anyone considering the use of Xarelto should speak with their doctor about the risks and benefits before making a decision.
As mentioned, Xarelto is approved for use in treating a number of different conditions. One of the most common uses for Xarelto is in people with atrial fibrillation. This type of irregular heartbeat is dangerous as it increases the risk of such events as stroke and heart disease. Using Xarelto can lower the possibility of a stroke in people with specific kinds of atrial fibrillation. As a blood thinner, the main goal of using the drug in this situation is to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Xarelto may also be prescribed in other situations where blood clots are a concern, such as after knee or hip replacement surgery. Blood clots can be extremely dangerous, and they are more common after a major surgery such as joint replacement. Through the use of a blood thinner like Xarelto, the likelihood of such a clot may be reduced. If a blood clot has already occurred, Xarelto may be used to treat that blood clot and to hopefully prevent the blood clot from forming again. This is often seen in cases of deep vein thrombosis.
One of the big differences with Xarelto as compared to the rest of the blood thinner market is the fact that Xarelto dosages do not need to be adjusted on an ongoing basis. With other anticoagulants, such as warfarin, regular blood testing is necessary in order for a doctor to tweak the dosing appropriately. That is not the case when a patient is prescribed Xarelto, as they will be assigned a dosage and that dose will remain steady for the foreseeable future.
Xarelto comes in three different dosage options – 10 milligrams, 15 milligrams, and 20 milligrams. While the medication can usually be taken just once daily, some patients may be asked to take it twice daily to start. Also, it is usually necessary for the 15 and 20 milligram options to be taken with food. Of course, it is always important to follow the directions of your doctor specifically when it comes to taking prescription medication.
The ability to take a steady dose without having to return for blood work is one of the big advantages cited when patients choose to take Xarelto over some of the other blood thinning options on the market. The efficacy of this system was tested in the controversial Rocket-AF trial, where Xarelto was compared to warfarin. While the trial confirmed that Xarelto was as effective as warfarin without the need for blood testing, some doubt has been cast on the results of that study in retrospect. The blood testing devices used in the Rocket-AF study have been recalled since the completion of the trial, as they were found to be defective. This issue has led many to question the outcome of the trial and the validity of the comparison between Xarelto and warfarin.
Potential Side Effects of Xarelto
In addition to thinking about the uses and dosages of Xarelto when considering this drug, it is also important to weigh its many side effects. It would be a mistake to cast aside concerns about potential side effects, as some of the side effects which can come along with Xarelto are rather serious in nature.
Any discussion of Xarelto side effects needs to begin with uncontrolled bleeding. This is the major side effect that will be in play for any patient taking the medication, and it is the one which can lead to serious injury or even death. Many lawsuits have popped up related to the use of Xarelto, and most of them have to do with incidents of uncontrolled bleeding in patients. This bleeding is often internal, and there is frequently significant damage done before a problem is discovered.
Because of the serious nature of uncontrolled bleeding, it is important that patients pay attention to other side effects which can be signs of something more serious. Some of the potential issues which may come up while on Xarelto include prolonged bleeding from cuts, vomiting blood, blood in urine, heavy menstrual flow, and more. While something like a little extra bleeding from a small cut might not seem like a serious issue, it can be dangerous if these side effects are ignored for a long period of time. See your doctor should be concerned about anything you notice while taking Xarelto.
If you or a loved one has already taken Xarelto and has experienced a negative side effect of some kind, you may want to consider legal action against the drug’s manufacturer. While there is never a guarantee of a settlement or other financial reward in a legal case, you may be able to win damages based on the loss you have incurred due to this drug. Think about any loss you have suffered – such as permanent injury or high medical bills – and decide if adding your name to the thousands of lawsuits already underway is the right decision.