Rivaroxaban is a "direct factor Xa (pronounced 10a) inhibitor" that was brought to the panel as a possible alternative to warfarin, the current gold standard for stroke prevention in patients with afib. Unlike warfarin, which has multiple food and drug interactions and requires frequent clinic visits, blood draws and dose adjustments, rivaroxaban is an oral medication with no reported food or drug interactions.
Rivaroxaban significantly reduced the primary efficacy end point, as compared with placebo, with respective rates of 8.9% and 10.7% (hazard ratio in the rivaroxaban group, 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 0.96; P=0.008), with significant improvement for both the twice-daily 2.5-mg dose (9.1% vs. 10.7%, P=0.02) and the twice-daily 5-mg dose (8.8% vs. 10.7%, P=0.03). The twice-daily 2.5-mg dose of rivaroxaban reduced the rates of death from cardiovascular causes (2.7% vs. 4.1%, P=0.002) and from any cause (2.9% vs. 4.5%, P=0.002), a survival benefit that was not seen with the twice-daily 5-mg dose. As compared with placebo, rivaroxaban increased the rates of major bleeding not related to coronary-artery bypass grafting (2.1% vs. 0.6%, P<0.001) and intracranial hemorrhage (0.6% vs. 0.2%, P=0.009), without a significant increase in fatal bleeding (0.3% vs. 0.2%, P=0.66) or other adverse events. The twice-daily 2.5-mg dose resulted in fewer fatal bleeding events than the twice-daily 5-mg dose (0.1% vs. 0.4%, P=0.04).