FDA approves new anti-clotting drug for use after hip and knee replacements

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new oral anticoagulant that helps prevent deep vein thrombosis in people recovering from knee or hip replacements.

The drug, Xarelto (rivaroxaban), is a once-daily tablet approved for use at a 10-milligram dose for 35 days following hip replacement and for 12 days after knee replacement surgery.

Knee and hip replacement surgeries have long been associated with an increased risk for deep vein thrombosis, which can lead to the formation of a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. According to The American College of Chest Physicians, DVT and pulmonary embolisms are the leading cause of hospital readmissions following knee and hip replacements.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals holds marketing rights to the drug. Johnson & Johnson and Bayer HealthCare are also developing the drug jointly to determine its efficacy in preventing and treating other blood clotting disorders.