Prescription blood thinners are often quite effective. But sometimes, as in the case of Xarelto, they can work too well. That’s why the importance of Xarelto reversal strategies should not be overlooked. Patients who suffer excessive bleeding due to a sustained injury need help.

Xarelto, also known by its generic name, rivaroxaban, is a commonly prescribed anticoagulant for people recovering from knee or hip replacement surgeries, to protect against blood clots in the legs and lungs. It works by targeting a natural blood enzyme known as Factor Xa, a critical ingredient in the body’s clotting process.

As a result, Xarelto has been successful in reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.

According to the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine from the University of California at Irvine, the risk of major bleeding associated with anticoagulants is low, but major life-threatening bleeding can occur.

“Physicians need to have aggressive and comprehensive anticoagulation reversal and treatment strategies in the face of major bleeding,” the article states.

Patients taking Xarelto should consult a doctor if they discover any of the following signs, according to the drug’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals:

  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Unusual bleeding from gums
  • Heavier than normal menstrual flow
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Severe, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Urine that appears red, pink, or brown
  • Stool that appears bright red or black (like tar)
  • Blood or blood clots appearing in a cough
  • Blood in vomit, or vomit that resembles "coffee grounds"
  • Headaches, feeling dizzy or weak
  • Pain, swelling, or new drainage at wound sites

Some of the Xarelto reversal strategies and bleeding management ideas include:

  • Discontinue taking the drug (check with your doctor first)
  • Apply pressure to the area of bleeding
  • Go to a hospital where they can make sure patients receive adequate fluids and oxygen
  • The physicians at the hospital may also order a blood transfusion, if required
  • In certain cases, surgery may be needed to stop the bleeding.

At the moment, there is no approved antidote for Xarelto's extreme bleeding. However, one potential candidate, AndexXa, is currently moving through the FDA process.

If you experience any signs of unusual bleeding while taking Xarelto, consult your doctor right away.