BEIJING, Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Modern medicine has a solution for diseases manifold, but these are not without their share of risks. Hip replacements, for example, are frequently recommended for patients with severe arthritis of the hip joint. While hip replacements offer a long-term solution for hip arthritis, they come with certain serious risks. One such risk is the possibility of venous thromboembolism, a condition where a clot obstructs the flow of blood through a vein.
Venous thromboembolism after hip replacement surgery is a major cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. At present, the drug rivaroxaban is widely accepted and an effective option for reducing the risks of venous thromboembolism, but rivaroxaban therapy can lead to adverse outcomes such as excessive bleeding. The commonly prescribed analgesic (pain killer) drug aspirin is also effective at preventing blood clots, with possibly lesser adverse effects. But can aspirin replace rivaroxaban?
To answer this, a team of researchers led by Prof. Bin Feng of the Peking Union Medical College have conducted a clinical trial comparing aspirin and rivaroxaban in terms of their safety and efficacy in preventing venous thromboembolism after hip replacement surgery. Their findings are published in a recent Chinese Medical Journal article.
The researchers recruited 70 adults scheduled to undergo unilateral hip replacement surgeries, and randomly assigned them to receive either aspirin (100 mg twice daily) or rivaroxaban (10 mg once daily) for 5 weeks after surgery. They assessed the efficacy and safety of aspirin and rivaroxaban in terms of the proportion of patients who experienced venous thromboembolism during treatment, and total blood losses that the patients experienced during treatment, respectively.
"Fortunately, no patient showed any symptoms of venous thromboembolism," reports Prof. Bin Feng. "There were some non-symptomatic cases of deep vein thrombosis, but these were evenly spread out across both the aspirin and rivaroxaban groups, meaning that neither drug was superior in this aspect." The average total blood loss volumes and hip function outcomes assessed 30 days after the operations were also similar across both the groups.
Overall, while both aspirin and rivaroxaban are effective in managing venous thromboembolism after hip replacement procedures, aspirin stands out as the more accessible and affordable alternative.
"These findings have the potential to change prescribing practices for patients undergoing hip replacement procedures in mainland China," notes Prof. Feng. "Because aspirin is cheap and readily available, the widespread usage of aspirin could serve to make blood clot prevention after joint replacement easier and more economical."
Title of original paper: Comparable efficacy of 100 mg aspirin twice daily and rivaroxaban for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis following primary total hip arthroplasty: a randomized controlled trial
Journal: Chinese Medical Journal
SOURCE Chinese Medical Journal