How to take Xarelto

Xarelto is an anticoagulant inhibiting some proteins that help clotting. Xarelto inhibits factor Xa, a very key factor, along the pathway of clot formation. Inhibition of factor Xa by Xarelto further leads to inhibition of formation of several other proteins along the clotting pathway, thus making the blood thinner and less likely to clot. Xarelto helps individuals with cardiac arrhythmias, such as, atrial fibrillation, by preventing formation of clot and consequent stroke. If a patient on home health care service is prescribed Xarelto, nurses can use this teaching to educate the patient/caregiver on how to take Xarelto

Steps on how to take Xarelto

  1. Take this medication as ordered by your physician. This medication can induce some nausea and vomiting, when taken on empty stomach. Taking the medication with some food or snack can help avoid these unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms.
  2. Take the tablet as a whole, along with a full 8 oz. glass of water. If you have difficulty swallowing the whole tablet, xarelto tablet could be crushed and the powder be taken mixed with some food or a snack.
  3. Maintain strict compliance with intake of xarelto as ordered, with regards to dosage and frequency, to derive the benefit of the medication. Noncompliance with this recommendation can result in episodes of bleeding or clot formation. So, do not change your dose of Xarelto, without your doctor’s recommendation.
  4. Evenly space out the doses of xarelto and take the dose at the scheduled time every day. Keeping to the schedule of medication dose helps to avoid forgetting the medication intake. Also, maintaining a schedule for anticoagulant intake will help maintain the blood uniformly thin. This prevents the risks of extra thinning with consequent bleeding and thickening of blood with consequent clot formation.
  5. Your physician could change the dose of xarelto, based on the relief obtained or side-effects developed. So, maintain compliance with follow-up physician appointments, to have your doctor updated. Report to your physician regarding episodes of uncontrolled bleeding or signs of clot formation, if any. Be accommodative to the plan of frequent dose changes, until you show an optimum response.
  6. Do not consume alcohol, while you are taking xarelto, as alcohol can increase the effects of blood thinners and consequently, make the blood extra thin, thus resulting episodes of hemorrhage and bleeding.
  7. Exercise caution regarding preparations containing aspirin, as aspirin being an antiplatelet agent, can potentiate the effects of xarelto. This can result in extra thinning of blood and potential for easy bleeding.
  8. Do not discontinue taking xarelto without recommendation by your doctor. Abrupt withdrawal from xarelto intake can result in increased thickening of blood, risk for clot formation and deep venous thrombosis, development of pulmonary embolism, and episodes of stroke, chest pain, and myocardial infarction.
  9. Watch out closely for any signs of clot formation and DVT, such as pain in the calf muscle, episode of sudden cough and shortness of breath, and any chest pain. Report to your doctor immediately regarding any such findings, so that, a change in plan could be considered.
  10. Watch out closely for any signs of bleeding, such as red colored urine, bleeding per rectum that is either bright red or brown black in color, nose bleeds that are difficult to control, increased formation of ecchymosis and bleeding into the skin. Report to your doctor immediately regarding any such findings, so that, a change in plan could be considered.
  11. If you miss a dose, try taking it at the earliest notice of noncompliance. If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the dose scheduled. Do not take an extra dose to try making up for the missed dose. Notify your doctor and other health care personnel regarding your dose noncompliance.

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