Arixtra, also known as fondaparinux, is an anticoagulant drug that inhibits Factor X blood clotting. Anticoagulants prevent blood clotting and are often known as blood thinners. Arixtra is administered as a subcutaneous injection.

It may be given to treat blood clots in patients where clots are already present. It’s also prescribed before surgical procedures that are associated with high blood clot risks. These procedures include abdominal surgeries, knee and hip replacements, and hip fracture repair. Doctors also use Arixtra treat angina (heart pain) and heart attacks.

Arixtra is delivered by subcutaneous injection, which means it is injected under the skin. Most often Arixtra is injected in the skin over the stomach or abdomen. Other injection sites may also be appropriate, but Arixtra should not be injected into a muscle.

Fondaparinux is typically prescribed for daily use. Patients may inject themselves with the medication or a caregiver or medical professional can administer the drug. In some cases, the first dose of Arixtra is delivered via IV.

How does Arixtra Work?

Arixtra’s mechanism of action inhibits Factor X blood clotting. Clotting Factor X is an enzyme that initiates the formation of a blood clot in the arteries, veins, and heart. Clotting is typically a healthy response to the injury of a blood vessel. However, blood clots can pose dangerous risks if they become loose and move about the body. Mobile clots can cause breathing problems, heart attacks, and stroke. Fondaparinux prevents the Factor X enzyme from beginning the clotting process. This prevents clot formation which reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, and breathing problems.

Arixtra is often administered alongside other anticoagulants or blood thinners.

Precautions and Warnings of Arixtra

Arixtra impacts a patient’s blood and circulatory system, which can have wide-ranging effects throughout the body. Since Arixtra reduces blood clotting, it interferes with the body’s normal response to injuries and wounds. Patients must immediately inform their medical team if they are injured or involved in an accident. Avoid contact sports and using sharp items like razors while on this medication.

Do not use fondaparinux if you are allergic to it. Inform your doctor or pharmacist of all your allergies. The packaging and prefilled syringe include non-active ingredients that may contain allergens such as latex.

Patients taking Arixtra are at higher risk for bleeding along the spinal cord after spinal procedures. This can cause long-lasting or permanent paralysis. The risk of spinal bleeding is elevated among patients who have deformed spines or have undergone previous spinal procedures including epidural catheters.

Taking Arixtra with certain other drugs can increase the risk of bleeding. These drugs include:

  • Antiplatelet medications
  • Other blood thinners including warfarin or coumadin
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Arixtra can be dangerous for patients with certain previous and existing medical conditions. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any history of the following:

  • Bacterial endocarditis (heart infection)
  • Current bleeding such as a bleeding ulcer
  • Low platelet count
  • Blood-clotting conditions
  • Eye problems caused by diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney issues
  • Seizures
  • Stomach or other digestive problems
  • Stroke
  • Recent spinal procedures
  • Spinal deformity
  • Recent surgery
  • Low body weight

Side Effects of Arixtra

Patients on Arixtra may experience side effects. Since this medication is an anticoagulant, many side effects involve bleeding. Inform your doctor of any side effects since some are a sign of serious complications.Common side effects include:

  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Back pain
  • Leg numbness, tingling, or weakening
  • Incontinence
  • Pain, irritation, rash, bleeding, or other problems at the injection site
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fever

Drug Interactions with Arixtra

Arixtra can interact with other substances in a patient’s body. This includes other prescription medications as well as over-the-counter drugs, supplements, herbs, illicit drugs, and even some foods. Tell your medical team about any other medicine you take before beginning Arixtra.

Other medications that impact blood, circulation, and clotting are more likely to have drug interactions with Arixtra. These drugs include:

  • Mifepristone
  • Clopidogrel (such as Plavix) and other anti platelet medications
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
  • Rivaroxaban (found in Xarelto) and other blood thinners

 

Additionally, Arixtra may interact with these medications:

Dextran, heparin, tinzaparin, warfarin, abciximab, eptifibatide, ticagrelor (found in Brilinta), tirofiban, alteplase, reteplase, tenecteplase, urokinase, anagrelide, argatroban, bivalirudin, dabigatran, lepirudin, dalteparin (found in Fragmin), enoxaparin, rivaroxaban, cilostazol, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, eltrombopag, oprelvekin, prasugrel, romiplostim, ticlopidine, NSAIDs, or salicylates.

Strengths and Dosages of Arixtra

Arixtra is available in several different dosages. Each is appropriate to treat various issues.

Strength Used To Treat
1.5 mg Venous thromboembolic events (blood clots in the legs); clotting risk due to surgery
2.5 mg Venous thromboembolic events; clotting risk due to surgery; unstable angina; heart attack
5 mg Deep vein thrombosis; pulmonary embolism
7.5 mg Deep vein thrombosis; pulmonary embolism
10 mg Deep vein thrombosis; pulmonary embolism

Arixtra FAQs

Why did my doctor prescribe Arixtra?

Arixtra is an anticoagulant, which means it prevents your blood from clotting. Blood clots can cause strokes, breathing problems, and heart attacks. Arixtra should reduce your risk of these concerns.

How do I take Arixtra?

Arixtra is a subcutaneous injection. Most patients inject Arixtra into their abdomens or above their stomachs. Follow your doctor’s instructions for how and where to inject Arixtra.

Who should not take Arixtra?

Patients with blood disorders, low body weight, high blood pressure, kidney or liver problems, heart issues, or spinal deformities may not be good candidates for Arixtra. Additionally, Arixtra may cause problems in patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have recently survived a stroke, or have had a spinal procedure. Discuss your medical history with your doctor before taking Arixtra.

Is Arixtra a long-term medication?

Some patients are only prescribed Arixtra for a short time. For example, patients may need this medicine while recovering from surgery or a heart attack. Other patients may need a longer treatment period.

What is the cost of Arixta in America?

The average retail price for 30 7.5 mg doses of Arixtra is $4,500. The generic version of Arixtra, fondaparinux, retails at $2,700 for 30 7.5 mg doses. These costs can be lowered in several ways. If insurance or Medicare does not cover the medication, patients can use coupons to reduce the cost. Coupons may be available online or from the drug manufacturer.

Are There Alternatives To Arixtra?

Arixtra is not the only anticoagulant medication available. If Arixtra is not a good fit for a patient, there are other options like Angiomax, Apixaban, Agratroban, Bevyxxa, Coumadin, Defitelio, Fragmin, Lipo-Hepin, Liquaemin, Lovenox, Panheprin, Pradaxa, and Tnkase. Patients can talk to their doctor about these options instead.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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