Who is rivaroxaban (Xarelto) for?

 Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is used to:

Rivaroxaban can prevent blood clots from forming, reducing the chance of serious blood clot-related conditions such as stroke, DVT and PE.

Rivaroxaban may not be suitable for people with certain conditions including those that increase their risk of bleeding risk.

If you are already taking warfarin to prevent blood clots, and your INR is stable, there is little or no benefit in switching to another anticoagulant medicine (e.g. rivaroxaban or dabigatran).

Find out more about who shouldn’t take rivaroxaban.

Preventing and treating DVT and PE

People who are inactive in the few weeks following hip or knee replacement surgery have an increased risk of blood clots forming. This is because low levels of activity can result in slow blood flow through the body, increasing the chance of the blood pooling and forming blood clots.

A blood clot that develops in a large vein of the leg or the pelvis is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If the DVT breaks off, it can travel and lodge in the lungs. This is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE), and it is life threatening. Both DVT and PE are types of venous thromboembolism (VTE), and are serious conditions requiring prompt medical treatment.

Find out more about how rivaroxaban works and who can receive rivaroxaban on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Preventing stroke in people with atrial fibrillation

If you have atrial fibrillation you are at greater risk of having a stroke. Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the heart beats irregularly. This means that blood isn’t pumped through the heart with the usual force, allowing blood to pool in one of the chambers of the heart. As a result, blood clots can form, which can travel through the blood vessels and can block the blood supply to the brain causing a stroke.

Rivaroxaban has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation.

If you are unsure why you are taking rivaroxaban, ask your doctor.

Find out more about atrial fibrillation and stroke and who can receive rivaroxaban on the PBS (see below).

Who can receive rivaroxaban on the PBS?

Preventing blood clots

You can receive rivaroxaban through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for short-term use to prevent blood clots (a DVT or PE) from forming after hip or knee replacement surgery.

Rivaroxaban can also be prescribed on the PBS for treating a DVT or PE, and for preventing a DVT or PE recurring if you who have had one before.

Enoxaparin (Clexane) or dalteparin (Fragmin) injections (low molecular weight heparins) are more commonly used for preventing DVT and PE.

Preventing stroke

Rivaroxaban is also PBS subsidised for preventing stroke if you have atrial fibrillation and one or more risk factors that increase your chance of having a stroke including:

  • a previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • being 75 years or older
  • high blood pressure
  • type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • heart failure.

Warfarin (Coumadin, Marevan) is the most commonly used PBS subsidised medicine option for preventing stroke in people with atrial fibrillation.

Tell all your health professionals you are taking rivaroxaban

If you are taking rivaroxaban, tell all the health professionals treating you — including your doctor, pharmacist and dentist. They may need to talk to the doctor who prescribed rivaroxaban for you, particularly if you need to have surgery.

Be sure to let your doctor or pharmacist know about any other medicines you are taking in case they interact with rivaroxaban.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about taking rivaroxaban, and read the consumer medicines information for Xarelto.

Phone for medicines information

Call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424, Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm AEST) to get information about your prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, 'natural', vitamins and mineral supplements) from a pharmacist. Your call will be answered by healthdirect Australia.