Eliquis More Effective At Preventing Recurring Blood Clots, Embolism, Than Xarelto: Study

The study also found higher risks of gastrointestinal and intracranial bleeding linked to side effects of Xarelto

According to the findings of a new study, patients who take the blood thinner Xarelto are more likely to suffer recurring and dangerous blood clots than those who take the competing drug Eliquis, both of which are part of a new generation of anticoagulants prescribed to reduce the risk of strokes due to atrial fibrillation.

Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania published findings earlier this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, indicating that the risks of recurrent venous thromboembolism and bleeding events were higher with Xarelto than with Eliquis.

Both medications are part of a relatively new class of drugs that have been marketed as a replacement for warfarin, which has been the go-to blood thinner for decades. However, both drugs have been linked to risks of severe and uncontrollable bleeding events, especially before reversal agents were introduced in 2018.

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In this latest study, researchers looked at data on nearly 50,000 patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE); a combination of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Of those, 18,618 were new users of Eliquis (apixaban), and 18,618 were new uses of Xarelto (rivaroxaban). The researchers looked at rates of recurrent VTE, as well as gastrointestinal and intracranial bleeding among those who took the drug, with a median follow-up of 128 days for new users.

According to the findings, patients who took Eliquis were less likely to suffer recurrent VTE or bleeding incidents than those who took Xarleto. Eliquis users only had 77% of the cases of recurrent VTE that Xarelto users suffered, and only had 60% of the cases of bleeding events experienced by Xarelto patients as well.

“In this population-based cohort study, patients with VTE who were new users of apixaban had lower rates for recurrent VTE and bleeding than new users of rivaroxaban,” the researchers concluded.

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