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Xarelto Versus Warfarin – A Scientific Assessment

Several health care providers and doctors use oral anticoagulants or blood thinners to prevent the formation of blood clots. The body has the inclination to form blood clots, in order to elude bleeding to death. A number of clotting factors are involved in the blood clotting process which is complex in nature. A blood clot formed in the heart or brain or around any other vital organ or in the passageway can block the supply of blood flow which becomes a life-threatening stage. This is when the anticoagulants or blood thinners come into play to interrupt the blood clotting process.

Oral anticoagulants prevent blood clotting by obstructing the varied clotting factors. In general, any anticoagulant drug is said to possess risk factors for internal bleeding disorders. The prime concern for a health care provider is to choose the right anticoagulant based on the patient's tendency to form blood clots. The most frequently used oral anticoagulants are Xarelto and warfarin. Every drug is said to possess its own merits and demerits coupled with ease of use practices. Xarelto is a new oral anticoagulant whereas warfarin is an old one. Another advantage of Xarelto is that it lacks an antidote, on the other hand, warfarin has one. Xarelto usually comes in a standard daily dose which does not require constant monitoring.

Warfarin requires a patient-specific dosing and continual monitoring to avoid complications. However, both warfarin and Xarelto comes with the risk factors for internal bleeding disorders. The Xarelto reviews bring about a broad analysis about the safety of anticoagulants through http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/drugsafety/ucm280333.pdf. Warfarin and Xarelto are used to treat atrial fibrillation accompanied by an irregular heartbeat, birth defects in the heart, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and pulmonary hypertension.

Warfarin was introduced by Endo Laboratories as early as in the year 1954. Ever since it has been the popular anticoagulant drug. Seeing the potential market for anticoagulants, Janssen Pharmaceuticals in association with Bayer developed the new anticoagulant drug, Xarelto. Warfarin blocks the vitamin K-dependent blood clotting factor to prevent the formation of blood clots. Use of warfarin requires constant monitoring once in every two weeks.

The prothrombin test measures the International Normalized Ratio (INR) which indicates the clotting time of the blood. A high INR points out the risk factor for uncontrolled bleeding, on the other hand, a low INR depicts increased the tendency for blood clots. The warfarin's dosage has to be constantly adjusted according to the patient's INR. An incorrect dosage of warfarin leads to several complications.

With the expiry of a patent for warfarin, there was a need for an effective anticoagulant which should be safe as well as easy to use. With the FDA approved Xarelto's entry into the market, the need for an anticoagulant drug was solved. It was prescribed on a large scale. Xarelto acts as a factor Xa inhibitor thereby prevents the formation of thrombin. Xarelto has several approved uses. It is used in the postoperative state of hip or knee replacement surgery to prevent the formation of blood clots. The efficacy of Xarelto has been proven using several clinical trials which augment its reliability.

© Stefan Schell.