More than 2 million Americans have an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heart beat that increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.
New Blood Thinners on the Market
All three drugs have been approved for atrial fibrillation treatment, which disrupts the flow of blood through the heart and it’s more likely to form clots that can travel through the brain causing a stroke.
The blood thinner Pradaxa was approved in 2010 for the prevention of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation.
In November of the following year Xarelto was approved to prevent stroke from atrial fibrillation.
However, in November 2012 the blood thinner was also approved to treat deep vein thrombosis which is blood clots that occur in the lower leg and thigh.
Not only is Xarelto approved to treat people with atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis, it is also approved to treat pulmonary embolisim which is a condition that results when a blood clot from a vein breaks off and travels to an artery in the lungs and blocks blood flow.
Lastly, just like the blood thinners listed above, Eliquis was approved in December of 2012 to lower the risk of stroke and dangerous blood clots in patients also with atrial fibrillation.
How the New Blood Thinners Work
Although each new blood thinner are related in treating the same illness there are different characteristics for each.
For Pradaxa the usual dose is a 150-milligram tablet taken twice a day
However, after the approval of this blood thinner the FDA received a large number of reports of bleeding such as gastrointestinal and brain.
With Xarekto the dose is 20 milligrams once a day taken with dinner. The once a day dose appeals to some patients because it is easier to remember than having to take multiple pills.
Lastly for the blood thinner Eliquis, the dose is about 5 milligrams taken twice a day, and according to certain studies people with atrial fibrillation who could not or chose not to take warfarin found that Eliquis was more effective at preventing stroke.