Rivaroxaban: a review of its use for the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism after total hip or knee replacement surgery

Sean T Duggan
American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs: Drugs, Devices, and Other Interventions 2012 February 1, 12 (1): 57-72
Rivaroxaban (Xarelto®), an oral oxazolidinone-based anticoagulant, is a potent, selective, direct inhibitor of factor Xa that is used in the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adult patients after total hip replacement (THR) or total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. In large, clinical trials, oral rivaroxaban 10 mg once daily was more effective than subcutaneous enoxaparin 40 mg once daily in preventing postoperative VTE in patients undergoing THR or TKR surgery. Rivaroxaban was associated with significantly lower incidences of the primary endpoint, total VTE (composite of deep vein thrombosis, non-fatal pulmonary embolism, or death from any cause) compared with enoxaparin regimens across all studies. For example, in the largest trial in patients undergoing THR, total VTE occurred in 1.1% of rivaroxaban recipients and 3.7% of enoxaparin recipients (absolute risk reduction 2.6% [95% CI 1.5, 3.7]) in the modified intent-to-treat population. Notably, the greater efficacy of rivaroxaban was achieved without a significant increase in the incidence of major bleeding episodes compared with enoxaparin; bleeding events were the most frequently reported adverse events across clinical trials. Pyrexia, vomiting, nausea, and constipation were the most frequently reported of the non-bleeding treatment-emergent adverse events in rivaroxaban recipients and occurred at a similar rate to that with enoxaparin treatment. In addition, preliminary pharmacoeconomic analyses in Canada and the US indicate that rivaroxaban is a cost-saving treatment strategy versus enoxaparin. Although the position of rivaroxaban relative to other therapies remains to be fully determined, it is an effective option for the prophylaxis of VTE following THR and TKR.

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