Nice Logo Extending the therapeutic alternatives for heart disease patients could be duly fruitful considering the high incidence of the condition. More recently, the team at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of the drug namely rivaroxaban for preventing stroke and systemic embolism among those suffering from atrial fibrillation.

This medication is supposed to be administered orally to patients of atrial fibrillation. This drug basically works by restraining blood clots, one major cause of stroke. By impeding something called Factor Xa, the medicine seems to be effective in preventing stroke.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, cited, “We know that people taking warfarin can find it difficult to maintain their blood clotting at a proper level and are often not within the target therapeutic range. For example, older people with atrial fibrillation and comorbidities are more likely to have poorly controlled clotting and may be at an increased risk of stroke or bleeding. Rivaroxaban, like dabigatran etexilate, which NICE recently approved as an option for this indication, can benefit people with AF in these circumstances because it doesn’t require such regular monitoring and dose adjustments.”

According to the UK marketing authorization of rivaroxaban, it is approved for use among atrial fibrillation patients at risk for stroke and systemic embolism. The risk factor is determined by the presence of variables such as stroke history, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, old age, diabetes mellitus and prior transient ischaemic attack.

This drug ought to be used for people not successful in controlling their clots via another drug called warfarin. However, the team has stressed that the patient needs to be enlightened on the pros and cons of using this medication relative to warfarin. Also, patients on the latter drug need to take into account their international normalised ratio (INR) control levels before they switch to rivaroxaban.

Rivaroxaban also goes by the name Xarelto and is manufactured by Bayer HealthCare.