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What is Fondaparinux?

Article Details
  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fondaparinux is synthetic anticoagulant drug. It helps to prevent blood clots, including potentially life-threatening conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. The drug is commonly used as a preventative measure on patients who are preparing to undergo orthopedic surgery. Fondaparinux can also be prescribed with warfarin to minimize blood clots that have grown in the lungs or legs. It is sold under the brand name Arixtra®.

The drug works by blocking the progression of one of the steps that leads to blood clots in the body. In addition to preventing new clots, it can help to keep existing clots from growing. It is primarily prescribed for patients who are going to undergo surgery for hip fractures, hip replacement or knee replacement.

Fondaparinux is primarily used to prevent deep vein thrombosis, a serious condition in which blood clots grow deep in the veins of the legs. These clots can clog veins and impede the flow of blood. They can also break free and travel to the lungs which causes potentially fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism. Patients who have pulmonary embolism are suffering a blood clot in either the main artery or a branch in the lungs. It can lead to low blood pressure, collapse, or death.

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The drug is administered daily via injection. Though it is usually given at a medical facility, injections can be prescribed for home use. Doctors will typically train a patient both on how to administer the drug and manage supplies such as syringes and needles.

As Fondaparinux can lower the number of platelets that form clots, a patient’s blood will be significantly thinned. For this reason, uncharacteristic or severe bruising and bleeding should be reported to a doctor. Nosebleeds may also be a cause for concern.

Most patients do not suffer adverse side effects when taking fondaparinux. The most common mild effects of taking the drug include itching, irritation, rash, or bleeding at the site of the injection. Some patients may also have difficulty sleeping. These effects only need to be discussed with a doctor if they become severe or do not go away.

More severe side effects of taking fondaparinux include fainting, dizziness, headache, and confusion. Patients may also notice bloody, tarry, or black stools or red urine. Weakness, vomiting, or nausea should be discussed with a doctor. Signs of an allergic reaction, which can include facial swelling, itching, hives, and breathing problems, should receive immediate medical attention.

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