Side Effects of Fondaparinux (Arixtra)
Fondaparinux, also commonly known as a Arixtra is a prescription medicine and blood thinner, also known as an anticoagulant. Arixtra is used to help prevent blood clots from forming in patients who have had certain surgeries of the hip, knee, or the stomach area (abdominal surgery) or to treat people who have blood clots in their legs or blood clots that travel to their lungs.
Precautions Before Taking Arixtra
Arixtra should not be taken if you have certain kidney problems, active bleeding problems, an infection in your heart, low platelet counts, if you test positive for a certain antibody while you are taking Arixtra, and if you weigh less than 110 pounds (50 kg).
Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, especially if you have had any bleeding problems (such as stomach ulcers), have had a stroke, have had recent surgeries, including eye surgery, have diabetic eye disease, have kidney problems, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, are pregnant. It is not known if fondaparinux will harm your unborn baby.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss with your healthcare provider about the best way for you to prevent or treat blood clots as the effect of Arixtra on unborn or newborn baby is not known.
In addition, Arixtra should be used with caution in the elderly, as they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially bleeding.
Inform your doctor or dentist that you take Arixtra before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
Serious Side Effects
Arixtra can cause serious side effects, according to the FDA. If you require certain medical procedures involving the spine, such as an epidural (pain medication given through the spine), spinal anesthesia, or spinal puncture, while receiving Arixtra, you may be at risk for developing a potentially serious blood clot (hematoma) in or around your spine. This can result in long-term and possibly permanent paralysis (loss of the ability to move).
In addition, severe bleeding can occur. The risk is higher if you have bleeding problems, gastrointestinal problems including ulcers, strokes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, certain kidney problems, diabetic eye disease, and if you recently had brain, spine, or eye surgery.
Platelets (clot-forming cells) may be reduced through Arixtra treatment. You may bruise or bleed more easily while taking it and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. If you have unusual bruising or bleeding or dark, tarry, or bloody stools, inform your doctor.
Common Side Effects
The FDA lists the common side effects of Arixtra:
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Increased liver enzymes
- Sleep problems or insomnia
Some medicines, such as, aspirin, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory medicines or NSAIDs (such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen), other blood thinner medicines like Clopidogrel or Warfarin, can increase the risk of bleeding.
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
Polymorphisms are gene variations in the genes that affect how your body metabolizes medications. Pharmacogenetics identifies these gene variations and explains why some patients experience side effects while others don’t. Knowing these genetic variations can help you understand what medications are best and harmful for your treatment plan.
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Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® Genetic Testing Labs