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Rivaroxaban for Deep Vein Thrombosis


Generic Name Brand Name
rivaroxaban Xarelto

How It Works

Rivaroxaban is a type of blood thinner (anticoagulant). It prevents blood clots by blocking a blood clotting factor (Factor Xa) from working. Clotting factors are substances that make blood clot.

Why It Is Used

Rivaroxaban is used to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Rivaroxaban is used after knee and hip replacement surgery to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

How Well It Works

Rivaroxaban effectively treats deep vein thrombosis and helps prevent it from happening again.1

After knee and hip replacement surgery, rivaroxaban helps prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.2, 3

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Allergic reaction

Call911or other emergency services right away if you have:

Call your doctor if you have:


Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

  • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches. (It may be a sign of bleeding in the brain.)

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if you have:

  • Any abnormal bleeding, such as:

If you are injured, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Realize that it will take longer than you are used to for the bleeding to stop. If you can't get the bleeding to stop, call your doctor.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

When you take a blood thinner, you need to take extra steps to avoid bleeding problems.

For more information, see:

actionset.gif Blood Thinners Other Than Warfarin: Taking Them Safely.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

Make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use rivaroxaban unless your doctor tells you to. This medicine might cause pregnancy-related bleeding. Experts do not know if rivaroxaban is excreted in breast milk.

If you need to use this medicine, talk to your doctor about how you can prevent pregnancy.


Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


  1. EINSTEIN-PE Investigators (2010). Oral rivaroxaban for symptomatic venous thromboembolism. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(26): 2499–2510.

  2. Lassen MR, et al. (2008). Rivaroxaban versus enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis after total knee arthroplasty. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(26): 2776–2786.

  3. Eriksson BI, et al. (2008). Rivaroxaban versus enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis after hip arthroplasty. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(26): 2765–2775.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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