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NICE issues guidance on rivaroxaban for the treatment of pulmonary embolism and prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism

Published: 10 July 2013

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance to the health service on the use of rivaroxaban for the treatment of pulmonary embolism and venous thromboembolism, based on a report produced by SHTAC.

NICE has issued guidance to the health service in England and Wales recommending the use of the oral anticoagulant drug rivaroxaban for the treatment of acute symptomatic pulmonary embolism, with or without symptomatic deep vein thrombosis, and for the prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism.

NICE's guidance is based on an evidence review group report prepared by SHTAC, which critically appraised the drug manufacturer's submission to NICE's Single Technology Appraisal process.

Venous thromboembolism is a term used to describe how blood clots (thrombi) form in a vein and can break off (embolise) into the vascular system; it includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. When dislodged thrombi travel to the lungs this is known as pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism can cause sudden death and those who survive occasionally require intensive care, and recovery can take several weeks or months. Rivaroxaban is an anticoagulant drug that has been evaluated as an alternative to standard treatment with heparin and a vitamin K antagonist (e.g. warfarin) in patients with pulmonary embolism.

For more information on SHTAC's research into vascular diseases please visit our Research page.

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