Girardi | Keese

Warfarin vs. Xarelto: Is One Safer?

Well-known and widely used anticoagulants, including Xarelto and Warfarin, are used to help individuals with serious conditions including stroke and pulmonary embolism thin their blood. Among other less serious side effects, the most concerning is internal bleeding.

bunch of pills.jpg

What is an anticoagulant?

Anticoagulant drugs, or blood thinners, do just that: they thin the blood and prevent clots from forming. Clots often occur in veins and arteries, which can lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism and stroke among other complications. Blood can clot because of different kinds of cancer and their treatment methods, as well as various lifestyle risk factors including: 

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Oral birth control
  • Being a smoker
  • Immobility
  • Being over the age of 60
  • Family history
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol

Blood clots are one of the most preventable kinds of blood conditions, and many people choose medications like Xarelto to thin their blood over options like lifestyle changes and drugs that require testing for the dose.

No antidote for Xarelto

Xarelto, made by Bayer, has been on the market for several years. Its popularity has been staggering: Bayer made $1.3 billion in sales of the drug in 2013 alone. The older drug Warfarin is very similar, although there are some key differences - mostly in their side effects. Xarelto's include itching, bruising easily, muscle pain and numbness. The biggest side effect is severe internal bleeding, which can sometimes lead to death.

There is no antidote to severe internal bleeding on Xarelto, as opposed to Warfarin, which uses Vitamin K and prothrombin complex concentrate to manage bleeding. The drug (called rivaroxaban and marketed as Xarelto) was on the FDA's Adverse Events Reporting System list in 2015 as the drug with the highest number of serious injury of any regularly monitored drug.

Warfarin is well-known; what about the others?

Warfarin, also known as Coumadin and Jantoven, has been around since the 1950s as an anticoagulant much like Xarelto. It can also cause severe bleeding and other side effects similar to Xarelto; however, as mentioned before, there are antidotes to stop the internal bleeding. Since the drug has been around for so long, it's been tested and studied over and over, and doctors are very familiar with its used and side effects. Instead of standard doses, Warfarin requires a doctor to test a patient, dose them and monitor to make sure the drug is working - it's more personalized than Xarelto, but has many of the same side effects and risks.

Since Warfarin requires rigorous testing and monitoring, many doctors wanted a new drug that would offer the same results - thus, the newer anticoagulants were developed. These are often called new oral anticoagulants, or NOACs - Xarelto is part of the "new and improved" lot of medications. They're marketed to doctor and consumers as an improvement on Warfarin - but can they really be if they have such severe side effects and no antidote to the most deadly?

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

DISCLAIMER: Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result. Any testimonials and endorsements at this site do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter or potential legal matter.


The Soto Verdict

Girardi | Keese attorneys have won a $2.3M verdict for a Long Beach resident run over by a Parks & Rec truck. Read more here.

The Madero Verdict

Attorney Christopher T. Aumais persuaded a San Bernardino County jury to deliver an  exceptionally high verdict in an area known for low jury awards.

A Champion of Justice

Partner Amy Fisch Solomon was a Champion of Justice in 2015, proving that success in law isn't just about the size of your verdict or settlement.

Own a VW Diesel?

Read about VW's emissions scandal and 
our class action against the automaker.


Learn About Our Referral Network Read More

Our Attorneys

Meet our award-winning team Read More


The true measure of a lawyer isn’t the awards, but what the awards say about the lawyer: dedication and commitment to the client.

Super Lawyers Distinguished AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability American Association For Justice Consumer Attorneys Association Of Los Angeles Consumer Attorneys California Supreme Court Icon 7 Icon Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms 2014 | U.S. News American Board of Trial Advocates Law Dragon America's Top 100 Attorneys | Lifetime Achievement Martindale-Hubbell | AV Preeminent | Peer Review Rated For Highest Level of Professional Excellence | 2017