Aspirin Just as Effective as Xarelto for Preventing Clots after Hip, Knee Surgery Study Shows
One way pharmaceutical companies justify expensive and potentially dangerous drugs is that they fulfill a need that no other product on the market is capable of. This argument just got weaker in the case of the blood thinner Xarelto, as a new study shows that aspirin, one of the most common and readily-available pain relievers, is just as effective as Xarelto for preventing clots after certain surgical procedures.
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study examined 3,423 patients, of which 1,804 underwent total hip arthroplasty and 1,620 who had undergone total knee arthroplasty. All of the patients received 10 mg of oral rivaroxaban (Xarelto) until the fifth postoperative day. Then patients were randomly assigned to either continue taking Xarelto or were switched to 81 mg of aspirin per day.
The study found that venous thromboembolism (blood clots) occurred in 11 of the 1,707 aspirin patients and 12 of the 1,717 Xarelto patients. Ultimately, the study concluded that the rates of venous thromboembolism in either group were not significantly different in preventing blood clots.
“The major message here is aspirin is an effective and safe alternative to rivaroxaban” beginning five days after surgery, lead author Dr. David Anderson, told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. “And it offers a choice and potential benefits of savings to patients and the healthcare system.”
This study is the first of its kind to compare aspirin and Xarelto for replacement surgery.