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Xarelto Vs Eliquis: All You Need to Know

Thursday 21 December 2023
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Understanding Anticoagulants: Xarelto, Eliquis, and Others

II. Xarelto vs. Eliquis: Key Points of Comparison

III. Putting it All Together

Navigating the complexities of anticoagulant therapy, especially when choosing between Xarelto vs. Eliquis, is a crucial aspect of modern cardiovascular care. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify these two leading anticoagulants, breaking down their distinct characteristics, mechanisms of action, and clinical applications.

While both medications play a pivotal role in preventing dangerous blood clots in conditions like atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis, they differ in key areas, including their dosing schedules and their patient-specific considerations.

By comparing Eliquis vs. Xarelto closely, you’ll be better informed and able to work with your healthcare providers to select the best medication for your needs. Understanding the two fully is essential to ensure your treatment is tailored to your situation, ensuring efficacy, safety, and optimal health outcomes.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Both Xarelto and Eliquis are classified as direct oral anticoagulants and work by inhibiting Factor Xa to prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • Because they don’t require frequent blood testing, Eliquis and Xarelto are considered to be more convenient options than traditional anticoagulants, like warfarin.
  • While they share a common drug class and mechanism of action. Xarelto and Eliquis do have differences that must be understood to decide on the right medication for you.
  • These differences include nuances in Factor Xa interactions, dosage and administration methods, and specific use cases.

Understanding Anticoagulants: Xarelto, Eliquis, and Others

Anticoagulant medications—commonly called blood thinners—help prevent blood clots from forming in the veins and arteries. They play a vital role in medical treatments, especially for conditions like atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE), where the risk of clot formation is high.

By inhibiting various factors in the blood clotting process, anticoagulants reduce the likelihood of clots that can lead to stroke or heart attacks. Choosing the right anticoagulant is critical and depends on the individual’s specific health needs, medical history, and the condition being treated. 

The right choice ensures the effective prevention of clot-related complications while minimizing potential side effects. Xarelto and Eliquis are two of the most popular options prescribed by healthcare providers.

Both Xarelto (generic name rivaroxaban) and Eliquis (generic name apixaban) belong to a class of drugs known as direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Their primary mechanism of action involves inhibiting Factor Xa, a key protein in the blood clotting process. By blocking this protein, both medications can effectively reduce the body’s ability to form harmful clots.

This is different from vitamin K antagonists like warfarin (which inhibit vitamin-K dependent factors like Factors II, VII, IX, and X) and direct thrombin inhibitors like dabigatran (which directly inhibits thrombin, or Factor IIa).

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Commonly prescribed for a range of clot-related conditions, Xarelto and Eliquis are particularly effective in preventing strokes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. It’s also used to treat and prevent PE and DVT. Because neither typically require routine blood monitoring, they’re considered convenient.

Both offer the advantage of fixed dosing and don't require routine blood monitoring, making them more convenient options for long-term clot prevention than other anticoagulants.

Xarelto vs. Eliquis: Key Points of Comparison

Xarelto and Eliquis, while both classified as DOACs and sharing a common mechanism of action, exhibit notable differences in their pharmacological profiles and usage.

1.   Mechanism of Action and Efficacy

Both medications effectively inhibit Factor Xa, reducing the risk of blood clot formation. However, they differ in their binding properties and bioavailability. Eliquis is known for its reversible and competitive inhibition of Factor Xa, which offers advantages in managing bleeding risks. Xarelto, on the other hand, binds selectively and irreversibly to Factor Xa, providing effective anticoagulation but with a different profile in terms of onset and duration of action.

In terms of efficacy, both Xarelto and Eliquis are highly effective in preventing strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation and treating DVT and PE. Clinical trials have demonstrated their effectiveness, showing comparable or improved outcomes relative to traditional anticoagulants like warfarin.

2.   Dosage and Administration

One key difference between Xarelto vs. Eliquis lies in their dosing schedules. Xarelto typically offers the convenience of once-daily dosing, which is easier for some patients to manage. Eliquis, on the other hand, requires twice-daily dosing, providing more stable plasma levels throughout the day, which may be beneficial for certain patient populations.

3.   Side Effects

Both Xarelto and Eliquis have well-documented safety profiles with some common side effects, including bleeding complications like bruising or prolonged bleeding, and GI issues, like stomach pain or nausea.

Serious side effects, though less common, can include major bleeding events like gastrointestinal or intracranial hemorrhages. For Xarelto, caution is advised in patients with renal impairment, while Eliquis may be preferred in those at a higher risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

Both medications require careful consideration of their interaction with other drugs, particularly those affecting blood clotting processes, and should be used under close medical supervision to manage these risks effectively.

4.   Specific Uses

While both are used for similar indications, individual patient factors such as kidney function, risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and patient preference may influence the choice between Eliquis vs. Xarelto. For example, Eliquis might be preferred in patients with a higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

5.   Cost Considerations

The cost of Eliquis and Xarelto can be a significant consideration for patients. Generally, as brand-name medications, they’re positioned at a higher price point compared to older anticoagulants like warfarin.

The exact cost can vary based on factors like insurance coverage, geographic location, and whether any manufacturer discounts or patient assistance programs are available. It's important for patients to explore these financial assistance options and to discuss with their healthcare providers and insurance companies to understand the full cost implications.

Canadian pharmacies are a popular affordable alternative to those in the U.S., where drug prices are notoriously high.

Putting it All Together

Overall, the choice between Xarelto vs. Eliquis comes down to individual patient needs, medical history, and specific health risks, with each medication offering distinct advantages in different scenarios. That’s why it is essential to consult closely and transparently with your physician to decide on the best option for your needs.

Whether you’re prescribed Xarelto or Eliquis, you can order your prescription safely, affordably, and conveniently through My Drug Center. We help patients in the U.S., Canada, and around the world save up to 80% on their prescriptions every day.

Learn more about ordering Xarelto or Eliquis from My Drug Center.