Compare Xarelto vs. Heparin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Xarelto
(Rivaroxaban)

Heparin

Prevents blood clots. Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is a good medication for preventing blood clots. It doesn't require regular blood tests or changing doses often. It can be expensive and there's no way to reverse the medication's effects.Prevents blood clots. Heparin is a good anticoagulant that prevents blood clots. However, you'll need to get frequent blood tests to make sure it's working well.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
XareltoHeparin
  • Back pain 3%
More Xarelto side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Heparin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Heparin »
How it works
XareltoHeparin
Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is an anticoagulant that stops the formation of blood clots.Heparin is an anticoagulant that binds with proteins and platelets to stop blood clots from being made and traveling to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Type of medication
XareltoHeparin
Anticoagulant
Factor Xa inhibitor
Prescription only
Anticoagulant
Heparin
Prescription only
Available as
XareltoHeparin
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
XareltoHeparin
Risk factors for serious side effects
XareltoHeparin
  • Stopping Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) too soon
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Spinal puncture (spinal tap)
  • Getting anesthesia in the spine (epidural anesthesia)
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Age 65 or older
  • Drug interactions
  • Taking NSAIDs, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medicines
  • Current kidney problems
  • Current liver problems
Detailed Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) risks & warnings »
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed Heparin risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
XareltoHeparin
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) doesn't have as many food interactions as compared to other anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Take Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) with food and a full glass of water.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, talk to your doctor about possibly switching to a different medicine to prevent increased risk for side effects.
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
XareltoHeparin
  • Studies have shown that Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) works just as well as other blood thinners (anticoagulants) in preventing strokes and reducing bleeding.
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) doesn't require regular blood testing or frequent dose adjustments.
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) doesn't have as many food interactions as compared to other anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Safe to use in pregnancy and if you're breast feeding.
  • There are other medications that can help stop unexpected bleeding while taking Heparin.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Usually used in the hospital, but can be given at home too.
Downsides and risks
XareltoHeparin
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) can increase your risk of bleeding. Call your doctor right away if there is blood in your phlegm, urine, or stool (look for black, tarry stools).
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) isn't available as a generic medication.
  • There are no antidotes to stop bleeding caused by taking too much Xarelto (Rivaroxaban).
  • Can't take during pregnancy.
  • You'll need to get labs/blood draws done on a regular basis to make sure the drug is working and to make sure you don't get unexpected side effects.
  • You can be at higher risk for bleeding or clotting while taking Heparin compared to other anticoagulants.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
XareltoHeparin
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is an anticoagulant, so it's important not to miss a dose. Don't stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor first.
  • When taking Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), you can bleed more easily, so use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor to avoid cutting yourself.
  • Take Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) with food and a full glass of water.
  • You can crush the tablets and mix with applesauce.
  • Make sure to change where you inject Heparin every time.
  • Don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications without talking to your doctor first.
  • You will have to do regular blood draws or labs to make sure that Heparin is working for you.
Learn more
More about XareltoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about HeparinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert