Harvard Heart Letter

Another warfarin alternative for stroke prevention in people with a-fib

To switch or not is a decision for you and your doctor to make.

Warfarin's long reign as the drug for preventing stroke in people with atrial fibrillation is being challenged by the second new blood thinner to come on the market within the span of less than a year.

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) prevents blood clots — and the strokes arising from them — by blocking formation of thrombin, a protein that forms a netlike trap for red blood cells. Warfarin (Coumadin, generic) does its job by blocking the liver's production of clot-promoting proteins.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »