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What Arixtra is and what it is used for
Arixtra is a medicine that helps prevent blood clots from forming in the blood vessels (an antithrombotic agent). Arixtra contains a synthetic substance called fondaparinux sodium. This stops a clotting factor Xa (“ten-A”) from working in the blood, and so prevents unwanted blood clots (thromboses) from forming in the blood vessels. Arixtra is used to:
• prevent the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels of the legs or lungs after orthopaedic surgery (such as hip or knee surgery) or abdominal surgery
• prevent the formation of blood clots during and shortly after a period of restricted mobility due to acute illness.
• treat blood clots in blood vessels that are near the surface of the skin of the legs (superficialvein thrombosis).
How to take Arixtra
Always use this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. The recommended dose is 2.5 mg once a day, injected at about the same time each day. If you have kidney disease, the dose may be reduced to 1.5 mg once a day. How Arixtra is given
• Arixtra is given by injection under the skin (subcutaneously) into a skin fold of the lower abdominal area. The syringes are pre-filled with the exact dose you need. There are different syringes for the 2.5 mg and 1.5 mg doses. For step-by-step instructions please see over the page
• Do not inject Arixtra into muscle. How long should Arixtra be taken for You should continue Arixtra treatment for as long as your doctor has told you, since Arixtra prevents development of a serious condition. If you inject too much Arixtra Contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice as soon as possible because of the increased risk of bleeding. If you forget to take Arixtra
• Take the dose as soon as you remember. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
• If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Don’t stop using Arixtra without advice If you stop the treatment before your doctor told you to, you are at risk of developing a blood clot in a vein of your leg or lung. Contact your doctor or pharmacist before stopping. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Conditions you need to look out for Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis): These are very rare in people (up to 1 in 10,000) taking Arixtra. Signs include:
• swelling, sometimes of the face or mouth (angioedema), causing difficulty in swallowing or breathing
• collapse. ➔ Contact a doctor immediately if you get these symptoms. Stop taking Arixtra.
Common side effects These may affect more than 1 in 100 people treated with Arixtra.
• bleeding (for example from an operation site, an existing stomach ulcer, nosebleed, gums)
• anaemia (a reduction in the number of red blood cells).
Uncommon side effects These may affect up to 1 in 100 people treated with Arixtra.
• bruising or swelling (oedema)
• feeling sick or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
• chest pain
• rash or itchy skin
• oozing from operation wound site
• reduction or increase in the number of platelets (blood cells necessary for blood clotting)
• increase in some chemicals (enzymes) produced by the liver.
Rare side effects These may affect up to 1 in every 1000 people treated with Arixtra.
• allergic reaction (including itching, swelling, rash)
• internal bleeding in the brain or abdomen
• anxiety or confusion
• fainting or dizziness, low blood pressure
• drowsiness or tiredness
• leg pain or stomach pain
• diarrhoea or constipation
• wound infection
• increase in bilirubin (a substance produced by the liver) in the blood
• reduction in potassium in your blood.
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
How to Store Arixtra
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children
• Store below 25°C. Do not freeze
• Arixtra does not need to be kept in the fridge. Do not use this medicine:
• after the expiry date shown on the label and carton
• if you notice any particles in the solution, or if the solution is discoloured
• if you notice that the syringe is damaged
• if you have opened a syringe and you do not use it straightaway. Disposal of syringes: Do not throw away any medicines or syringes via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. This will help protect the environment.
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