A variety of health conditions benefit from the use of blood thinners. Medications like Xarelto can reduce a person’s risk of experiencing a stroke or serious cardiovascular issues. Medicare benefits that include prescription drug coverage may help pay for this medication if you’ve been prescribed Xarelto by your physician as part of your treatment plan.

Understanding How Xarelto Works

Xarelto, the brand name for rivaroxaban, is a common anticoagulant, or blood-thinning, medication. As an anticoagulant, Xarelto impacts certain proteins in the blood by inhibiting and disrupting their role in how clots form. Unlike some of the other anticoagulant medications on the market, Xarelto does not require dietary restrictions to improve its efficacy.

It can be prescribed as a treatment for existing blood clots or used to prevent blood clots from forming. Patients who have been diagnosed with or at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism are frequently treated with medications like Xarelto since these conditions can be life-threatening. It may also be prescribed during recovery from surgeries involving the knees or hips.

The medication may be prescribed in 10, 15 or 20 milligram doses and is taken in a tablet form by mouth. There are no generic forms of Xarelto available, so patients who are interested in an alternative medicine that performs similarly should ask their physician what options may be available to them.

Side Effects and Risks Associated with Xarelto

While your physician or pharmacist can help you understand any side effects or risks that may be specific to your circumstances, blood thinners are commonly associated with an increased risk of internal bleeding or excessive bleeding due to injury. Because these medications inhibit the blood’s ability to form clots, minor scrapes, cuts or bruising can prove more problematic for those who are taking medications like Xarelto.

A physician may also monitor your liver function to watch for possible toxicity, and you should talk to your physician before stopping Xarelto as you can increase your risk for clots if you stop taking the medication without following an advised protocol. Although Xarelto has been known to interact with fewer medications than other anticoagulants, it’s important your health care professional knows about all the medications you take to prevent any negative interaction with this drug.

Medicare Coverage for Xarelto

In order to qualify for coverage under Medicare benefits that include prescription drugs, like a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage (MA-PD) or a stand-alone Part D Prescription Drug Plan(PDP), the medication should be considered medically necessary and approved for treatment of the targeted condition. Plans that provide prescription drug coverage use formularies, or lists of approved drugs, and organize medications into tiers according to their cost.

Xarelto may be included on one plan’s formulary and not on another, so Medicare recipients should confirm plan coverage before enrolling. These formularies can change each year, which means Medicare recipients should keep up-to-date with their providers to avoid any loss of coverage.

Related articles:

Does Medicare Require A Referral To See A Specialist? (Opens in a new browser tab)

Will a Medigap Plan Give Me Prescription Drug Coverage?(Opens in a new browser tab)