(May 7, 2009 - Insidermedicine) An oral drug called Xarelto appears to be better able to prevent blood clots following knee surgery than standard treatment with injections of Lovenox, according to research published in The Lancet.
Here is some information about blood clots and surgery:
• After some forms of major surgery there is a risk of blood clots forming in the deep veins of the body.
• Blood clots may cut off circulation where they form or break away and lodge in a vital organ.
• To reduce the risk of blood clots, anticoagulants are sometimes given following certain surgeries.
Researchers from McMaster University randomly assigned nearly 2,000 patients having total knee replacement to oral Xarelto or injections of Lovenox. They looked at whether patients developed blood clots in the deep veins or died during the 17 days after surgery.
Overall, 7% of patients given Xarelto experienced a blood clot or died, compared with 10% of those given Lovenox. Rates of severe bleeding were similar between the two groups.
Today’s research suggests that Xarelto is better able to prevent blood clots after knee surgery than treatment with Lovenox.
For Insidermedicine in Depth, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.