What is Xarelto? | Dr. Jim Rybacki

Atrial Fibrillation (also referred to as AFib) is a type of arrhythmia, or heart rhythm disorder, that can increase your chances of developing heart failure, stroke, and blood clots. In fact, those with AFib are 5 times more likely to experience a stroke. To prevent blood clots from forming in patients with AFib, your doctor may prescribe Xarelto.

Xarelto is an anticoagulant, or blood thinner, that can also be used to treat deep vein thrombosis. This is a medication that will be taken every day. Make sure you follow the medication guide exactly as it is written. Don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have questions about the medication you are taking. If you are taking Xarelto to treat blood clots, you may need to take this medication twice a day. This medication can be taken with or without food. How long you have to take Xarelto will depend on the condition it’s treating and how well you respond to treatment.

As with any medication, there is always a chance of side effects. It’s common to experience excessive bleeding, particularly if you cut or injure yourself. Nosebleeds, and blood in the urine and stool are also more common while on blood thinners. If you experience symptoms of severe bleeding it’s important that you tell your doctor right away. Other side effects to discuss with your doctor include dizziness, fatigue, and weakness or difficulty swallowing.

Before taking this medication you and your doctor will sit down and discuss other medications you are taking as well as other preexisting medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease, or bleeding disorders. It’s also important that you tell all of your doctors and your dentist that you are taking Xarelto, to reduce your risk of bleeding during a treatment or procedure.

There is the potential for stomach bleeding while taking this medication. Because of this, it’s important that you limit your alcohol consumption to prevent bleeding. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about how much is safe to consume while taking this medication.

If you have just started taking Xarelto and have questions about this medications, or if you have concerns about the medications you are taking, know that our pharmaceutical doctor Dr. James Rybacki is here to answer your questions and provide you with the peace of mind you need to lead a healthy life with a chronic health problem. Discover how our guidebook the Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs can keep you safe while taking a long-term medication.

Have you been prescribed Xarelto? Learn more about what Xarelto treats and its side effects!
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