Blood Thinner Xarelto Approved to Treat Even More Patients at Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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This month, Xarelto was given the green light from the FDA and is now the first in its class approved for use in patients with existing coronary and/or peripheral artery disease to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.

After this new approval, Xarelto can now be used for the following purposes:

 

 

What are coronary and peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the legs, stomach, arms and head. Coronary artery disease is the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Arterial narrowing is caused by high cholesterol and plaque build up, and can lead to heart attack, stroke and even death.

 

What is the recommended dosage for the new indication?

Patients with coronary or peripheral artery disease should take two 2.5 mg tablets of Xarelto a day, in combination with 75 mg to 100 mg of aspirin once daily. The COMPASS clinical trial showed that taking this combination reduced the risk for serious cardiovascular events by as much as 24% compared to taking just aspirin.

Xarelto can be taken with or without food. Patients on Xarelto should speak with their doctor or pharmacist before adding any over-the-counter medications to their regimen.

 

 

Are any other blood thinners available?

Yes, there are multiple other blood thinners (or anticoagulants) available. Savaysa, Eliquis, Bevyxxa and Arixtra are popular, but expensive, brand-name medications used to prevent blood clots, stroke and atrial fibrillation.

Coumadin, available as generics warfarin and jantoven, is also a popular alternative. But in contrast to Xarelto, which may or may not need follow-up blood testing, Coumadin requires regular blood tests to ensure its effectiveness.

 

How can I save on Xarelto?

Xarelto is a brand-only medication, and since there is no generic alternative available, it is expensive—a 30-day supply can cost over $500. Luckily, there are some ways you can save.

Manufacturers Janssen and Johnson & Johnson offer two ways to save. The Xarelto manufacturer coupon from Janssen can reduce the price of Xarelto to as little as $0 per month, while Johnson & Johnson’s patient assistance program can help you get your medication for free if you qualify.

For more information on these programs’ eligibility requirements and how to apply, be sure to visit our Xarelto Savings Tips page or Xarelto’s official website.

 

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