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Rivaroxaban: New Blood Thinner Better Than Aspirin in Preventing Recurrent Blood Clots

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  • Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is considered to be the third leading vascular diagnosis in the world after a heart attack and stroke.
  • Blood thinners like aspirin are often used to prevent blood clots that cause venous thromboembolism.
  • Rivaroxaban drug is found to be safe and more effective than aspirin to prevent recurrent blood clots.

Rivaroxaban: New Blood Thinner Better Than Aspirin in Preventing Recurrent Blood Clots

Blood thinner Rivaroxaban drug is found to be safe and more effective when compared to aspirin to prevent recurrence of life-threatening blood clots in the legs and the lungs, finds a study from the McMaster University.

The research study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


One out of 1000 Canadians may experience at least one of the blood clots (Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) every year. The condition is referred to as Venous thromboembolism.

The blood clots can be deadly if they travel to the lungs and can lead to pulmonary embolism. This may be the third most common cause of death after a heart attack or stroke.

Studying the Efficacy of Rivaroxaban
The research study was conducted on 3,396 patients with venous thromboembolism in 31 countries. The study was found to demonstrate that the blood thinner rivaroxaban to be more effective when compared to aspirin.

Dr. Jeffrey Weitz, principal investigator of the study and professor of medicine and biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the Micahel G. DeGroote School of medicine, McMaster University. "Not only that, but in testing two doses of rivaroxaban, we found that we have the option of lowering the daily dose for extended treatment."

"This will ease the long-term concerns of both patients and their doctors."

The study which was carried out from March 2014 to March 2016 involved patients, who either received a daily 20mg dose of rivaroxaban, 10mg of rivaroxaban, or 100mg dose of aspirin.

Patients received medications for a period of 12 months after which they received treatment for an initial clot.

The findings of the study showed that recurrent blood clots in patients who took aspirin were at a higher rate with 4.4%.

The patients who took 10mg and 20mg of rivaroxaban had a significantly lower rate of recurrent blood clots, around 1.2% and 1.5% respectively.

The research study will be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session, by Dr. Philip Wells, head of the department of Medicine, and senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa.

Wells said, "We know from previous studies that only about 40 percent of venous thromboembolism patients are actually on long-term blood thinners."

"We hope that this study, which shows the blood thinner rivaroxaban, is as safe as aspirin but much more effective at preventing future clots, will convince patients and their physicians to continue life-long medication that can prevent potentially dangerous blood clots."

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
It is a blood clot which begins in the vein. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the third leading vascular diagnosis after a heart attack or stroke.

Two types of Thromboembolism:
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Venous thromboembolism is more common among adults who are 60 years or older . However, they may occur at any age, and maybe rare in children.

Rivaroxaban Drug
Rivaroxaban drug is prescribed for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot that usually occurs in the leg) and pulmonary embolism ( a blood clot that occurs in the lungs).

The drug may also be continued to prevent thrombosis after the initial treatment. Rivaroxaban comes in the form of a tablet to be taken once daily after food.

It is a prescription drug and is available in Canada for about $100 a month, the cost of this drug can be covered by most private insurance plans, while aspirin is only a few pennies and is also available over the counter.

  1. Jeffrey I. Weitz, Anthonie W.A. Lensing, Martin H. Prins, Rupert Bauersachs, Jan Beyer-Westendorf, Henri Bounameaux, Timothy A. Brighton, Alexander T. Cohen, Bruce L. Davidson, Hervé Decousus, Maria C.S. Freitas, Gerlind Holberg, Ajay K. Kakkar, Lloyd Haskell, Bonno van Bellen, Akos F. Pap, Scott D. Berkowitz, Peter Verhamme, Philip S. Wells, Paolo Prandoni. Rivaroxaban or Aspirin for Extended Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism. New England Journal of Medicine, (2017); DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1700518
  2. What is Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)? - (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/What-is-Venous-Thromboembolism-VTE_UCM_479052_Article.jsp#.WM9xiMmSTIU )
  3. Rivaroxaban - ( https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a611049.html)

Source: Medindia

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