Xarelto is an oral anticoagulant which blocks the activity of specific clotting substances in the blood. It is an inhibitor of factor XA – an enzyme that plays a huge part in blood clotting. It is most commonly used to reduce the chances of or cure a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which leads to clotting of blood in the lungs. The risk of DVT rises after a surgery.
Xarelto is also prescribed to sufferers of atrial fibrillation i.e. it is used to prevent stroke which can happen as a result of a blood clot.
You will bruise more easily or suffer from minor bleeding such as from small cuts or from the nose. If these symptoms become worse or persist then, it is recommended that you contact your doctor.
Serious side effects include unusual pain or swelling, prolonged bleeding from cuts/gums, very heavy menstrual flow, pink or dark urine, coughing up blood, bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe headache, tiredness, back pain, loss of control on bowel/bladder, change in the colour of stools, dizziness, trouble swallowing, vision changes, slurred speech, confusion, pain or swelling at wound sites and weakness on just one side of the body.
If you abruptly discontinue your treatment and stop taking Xarelto, the chances of stroke and blood-clotting escalate. Talk to your doctor about discontinuation.
Xarelto is a blood thinner and can cause bleeding in patients.
Be cautious of harmful drug interactions – your risk of bleeding will increase further if you take medicines such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), warfarin sodium, heparin-containing medicines, clopidogrel, SSRIs or SNRIs and other medicines to treat blood clots alongside Xarelto.
Regularly drinking alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
You cannot receive spinal anaesthesia while you’re taking this medication as it can cause blood to clot around your spinal cord.
Take special care when using sharp objects as to avoid getting cut and bleeding. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid bleeding of the gums. Walk carefully to avoid injury.
Check for allergies – do not take Xarelto if you’re allergic to it or if you already have bleeding disorders.
A side effect of Xarelto is that it causes you to bleed and the stakes rise if you have a haemorrhagic stroke, uncontrolled high blood pressure, stomach/intestinal bleeding or ulcer. Tell your doctor about these diseases.
Other diseases that you need to discuss with your healthcare provider are liver or kidney diseases, recent major injury or surgery, eye problems such as retinopathy and hereditary enzyme problems such as galactose intolerance and glucose-galactose malabsorption.
If you have medicine injected into your spinal epidural area or have received a spiral puncture, you have a threat of forming a blood clot that can eventually lead to paralysis. This risk rises if you take NSAIDs, have a history of repeated epidural or spinal punctures, have a history of spine problems or have previously received surgery on the spine.
Xarelto is not for people with artificial heart valves.
This medication can cause bleeding in the mother or unborn baby during pregnancy – inform your doctor about pregnancy. Also talk about the risks involved in taking this medication while you’re still breast-feeding.