Understanding Xarelto

Wednesday 26 May 2021
Xarelto
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents


I. What is a Blood Clot?

II. Xarelto in the Body

III. Symptoms of Blood Clots

IV. Do I Need a Blood Thinner?

V. Diagnosis


What is a Blood Clot?

Not all blood clots are immediately harmful, but they all have the potential of breaking free and traveling to the heart, lungs, or other major organs. Because of this, those who have a high risk of developing blood clots are often prescribed blood thinners like Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to prevent dangerous health complications. But what is a blood clot, and why does it occur?

A blood clot is a cluster of semi-solid blood that forms to prevent bleeding from an injury. The body’s clotting process kicks in and turns liquid blood into a gel-like clump at the injury site so that excessive bleeding does not occur.

There are no health threats when blood clots together to prevent bleeding at a cut or scrape. However, several factors can cause internal injuries, which may cause the blood inside the blood vessels to clot. This can block blood flow to the organs and lead to severe, life-threatening outcomes. If you suspect a blood clot, it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about the benefits of Xarelto and how this drug can reduce your risk of blood clots. [1]

a person dispensing some pills from a bottle

Xarelto in the Body

Xarelto is an anticoagulant made of rivaroxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor. It is important to understand the body’s clotting mechanism to understand how Xarelto works in the body.

The body begins the clotting process when it detects an injury. This clotting process requires several proteins and cells to work together. Essentially, these proteins connect at the site of the injury to prevent excessive bleeding, which explains why small cuts and scrapes tend to seal by themselves. In order for the blood clotting mechanism to begin, the protein factor Xa must kick start the process. As you can see, factor Xa plays a crucial role in preventing blood loss and creating blood clots.

Xarelto works in the body by inhibiting and affecting factor Xa in the blood and in existing clots. Doing so prevents the clotting process from starting, which reduces the risk of blood clots. Because of its ability to stop clots, Xarelto can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Venous thromboembolism (a blood clot that starts in a vein)
  • Non-valvular atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat caused by excess pressure in the heart chambers)
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the deep vein, usually in the legs)
  • Pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that affects the lungs)

Furthermore, Xarelto can be used to prevent blood clots in patients following a knee or hip surgery; rivaroxaban is often used as a prevention method in patients who have to be sedentary or bed-bound for an extended period. [2] 

Symptoms of Blood Clots

How do you know that you need Xarelto? Doctors recommend regular checkups to determine your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and other health indicators. If you have a family history of blood clots, smoke, or if you are affected by cancer or obesity, you may need Xarelto to reduce your risk. Other risk factors for blood clots include:

  • Age (risk increases past 65 years old)
  • Long trips that force you to hold a sitting position for more than four hours
  • Sedentary periods or bed rest
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills

a window seat on an airplane

Your doctor may prescribe Xarelto if you are experiencing symptoms of a blood clot. A blood clot in your arm or leg can cause symptoms of swelling, pain, tenderness, and discoloration. Smaller clots may cause minor swelling, while larger clots may cause extensive pain. Light-headedness, abdominal pain, or a stroke may occur if a clot moves to the heart, abdomen, or brain. If you think a certain symptom is the result of a blood clot, contact your doctor. [1]

Do I Need a Blood Thinner?

More than two million people in the U.S. take blood thinners every year. Blood thinners are effective at preventing blood clots from forming or growing bigger. By taking blood thinners, you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke caused by a blood clot. If you have a history of heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism, you may need a blood thinner.

There are several different blood thinners available on the market. Xarelto is an anticoagulant, but another class of blood thinners called antiplatelets is also available. The type you receive will depend on your prior condition, age, and treatment goals. Other conditions that commonly require treatment with a blood thinner include deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), lupus, and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm). For certain conditions, you may only need to take a blood thinner for a few months. For more chronic conditions, blood thinners may need to be taken regularly. [3]

an assortment of medications

Diagnosis

Several tests are needed to diagnose blood clots because symptoms of a blood clot may often overlap with symptoms of other health conditions. To rule out other diseases, your doctor will likely run a series of blood tests and scans. In addition to blood tests, some common tests for diagnosing blood clots include:

  • An ultrasound, which is used to view the blood flow in your veins and arteries.
  • A CT scan, used to confirm a blood clot in the head, abdomen, chest, or other areas.
  • A magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), which can look at specific blood vessels.
  • A V/Q Scan, used to test the circulation of air and blood in the lungs. {{4}}

If you are diagnosed with blood clots, ask your doctor about your treatment plan options. Visit Canada Med Pharmacy to view our selection of brand-name and generic blood thinner medications, including Xarelto (rivaroxaban). Fill your prescription online and have your medication delivered directly to your home. 

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.