Xarelto and Pradaxa and two new anti-coagulant medications that have similar effects to Coumadin (warfarin). Because their mechanism of action is different than Coumadin, they are simpler to use as they do not require blood monitoring.
Pradaxa was approved over two years ago and appears to be equally effective to Coumadin for atrial fibrillation, but at the present time, it is not useful in other settings such as blood clots and heart valves. More information will be forthcoming on additional uses, but for now it is limited to atrial fibrillation
Xarelto, on the other hand, has shown effectiveness in blood clot treatment and is approved for the acute treatment of deep venous thrombosis of the leg and pulmonary embolus. This will be a great boon to those who need it. Due to its effectiveness in this setting, it has been presumed that Xarelto will be useful for treatment in mechanical heart valves as these valves always require anticoagulation. But the latest study shows that Xarelto is not effective in this setting and cannot be considered equivalent to Coumadin.