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Whether you need to treat atrial fibrillation or prevent blood clots, you have quite a few treatments to choose from. Two of the more common ones include Eliquis and Xarelto.
But what separates the two? What makes one better?
The best way to determine this is by considering each medication thoroughly. You can start by reading our article on what Eliquis is and how it works. But for a detailed comparison between Eliquis and Xarelto, stay with us here!
Let’s start by examining Eliquis.
The first thing you’ll want to note about the medication is that it has no FDA-approved generic form. That’s because the drug company that owns Eliquis still holds the patent for it. So no other drug companies can make or sell different versions of Eliquis. (To learn more about this particular issue, check out our article on why Eliquis is so expensive.)
Luckily, Eliquis lost its market exclusivity. So companies can at least file applications to someday make and sell the medication.
For the time being, however, you won’t find a cheaper, generic version of Eliquis.
- Strokes and blood clots for those with atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve disease
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolism (PE)
But doctors may prescribe Eliquis for reasons other than the ones already mentioned. So if you’re considering the medication, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.
If you do choose to take Eliquis, you may experience some side effects. These may include:
- Bleeding gums
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Red, pink, or brown urine
- Red or black, tarry stools
- Joint pain
- Chest pains or tightness
- Facial swelling
- Breathing difficulties
- Dizziness or faintness
It’s important to note that these side effects are actually fairly rare and quite serious. So alert your doctor immediately or seek emergency treatment if you notice any of them.
You should also keep an eye on what you consume while on Eliquis. The medication can interact poorly with a wide variety of other medications. Some of which can include:
- St. John’s Wort
Eliquis may also react negatively to other substances. These include grapefruit juice, alcohol, and tobacco.
But what about Xarelto?
Well, unfortunately, like Eliquis, Xarelto has no generic form. Due to this, you aren’t likely to find cheaper versions.
But at the earliest, a patent for Xarelto will expire in 2020. So drug companies could be making generic Xarelto in the near future.
For the time being, brand-name Xarelto is often prescribed for the same issues as Eliquis. That includes preventing both strokes and blood clots in those with atrial fibrillation and no heart valve disease. And in many cases, it also includes treating DVT and PE.
It can also be used in combination with aspirin. This helps people with coronary artery disease and peripheral arterial disease to decrease their risk of:
- Heart attacks
But like with Eliquis, and any other medication, it could be used to treat many other issues.
Taking Xarelto for any issue may cause some side effects. More common ones may include:
- Back pain
- Bleeding gums
- Bloody or tarry stools
- Dysfunctional bowel or bladder
- Paresthesia (tingling- or burning-like sensations)
- Breathing or swallowing difficulties
- Increasing menstruation or vaginal bleeding
- Leg weakness
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts
- Red or dark brown urine
Less common side effects may include:
- Arm or leg pain
- Wound secretion
Rarer side effects might involve issues with urination.
Xarelto can also interact poorly with other medications. Many of which are ones that affect Eliquis similarly. As a result, Xarelto may also react poorly to alcohol and tobacco. So whichever medication you take, be sure to keep an eye on what you consume.
Realizing the Similarities
Now that we’ve gone through a basic outline of Eliquis and Xarelto, let’s consider their similarities. Both medications:
- Do not have generic forms just yet
- Manage strokes and blood clots
- Cause side effects like headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulties
- React potentially to alcohol and tobacco
Determining the Differences
The two medications aren’t completely alike, however. For one, they have their own pros, cons, and pricing. So let’s explore some of them.
To start, Eliquis offers the following pros:
- Helping patients with atrial fibrillation and other clotting disorders to effectively reduce their risk of stroke
- Allowing patients to take a blood thinner without regular blood tests or diet regulation
- Lowering the chances of leg and lung clots from forming again
But that doesn’t mean that Xarelto has less to offer. In fact, it can provide the following benefits:
- Working just as effectively as Eliquis and other medications to prevent strokes and stop clot formations
- Easing use by not requiring regular blood tests or frequent dose changes
- Interacting with fewer types of food than the average blood thinner like Coumadin
With that said, not everything about either medication is perfect.
Eliquis typically comes with the following cons:
- Making bruising easier and bleeding harder to stop and treat
- Increasing the risk of internal bleeding
- Reacting poorly to artificial heart valves
- Requiring patients to take it until their doctor says otherwise
- Having no generic alternative
Xarelto, too, has its own downsides:
- Increasing the risk of bleeding
- Having no generic alternative
- Heightening the chance of bleeding from overdosing that does not have an antidote
- Requiring patients to avoid pregnancy when taking it
According to the website Iodine, the two medications also differ in price. For instance, the lowest cost of Eliquis could be around $448. And the lowest of Xarelto could be $452.
Still seems a bit high, right?
Well, with us, the lowest cost of Eliquis may be $162 while the lowest of Xarelto may be $89.
Figuring Out Which One Is Right for You
So, as you can see, both Eliquis and Xarelto have their pros and cons. One medication may seem more appealing than the other to you. But either way, talk to your doctor about it. They should take your interests and concerns into consideration. And in turn, you should end up with the blood thinner medication that is best for you and your health.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.