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Aspirin May Equal Pricier Drug for Preventing Clots

After hip replacement, no disadvantage found for the low-cost treatment

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The researchers are now duplicating the study, but comparing Xarelto to aspirin this time. They're also including people having knee replacement surgery, and they're only using five days of initial treatment with the more powerful blood-thinner.

"If aspirin turns out to be as good as Xarelto, given the number of joint [replacement] surgeries done in North America, it could save the health care system millions if it's proven to be at least as effective," said Anderson.

Fareed said he would not use aspirin immediately after the surgery. "But once that initial phase settles down, I think aspirin is a good option. And, I'm confident that the bleeding will be less with aspirin," said Fareed.

He said doctors may not turn to aspirin right away, and would probably wait until medical groups write new guidelines suggesting aspirin as the standard of care. But it's certainly a topic that patients could bring up with their doctor before surgery, he suggested.

"I think we have demonstrated that a very simple, inexpensive oral therapy appears to be as good as a more expensive, more potent, less convenient anticoagulant agent for the prevention of blood clots following total hip replacement," concluded Anderson.

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