Rivaroxaban Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
Rivaroxaban — sold under the brand name Xarelto — is a medication used to treat or prevent blood clots. Like all prescription medications, it can be easily misused. Taking more than the recommended dosage or take the drug in a different way can be a problem. Addiction can develop among past addicts. But it can also happen to patients who have never suffered from addiction in the past.
Misuse of prescription medication can lead to lifelong dependency. It can slowly interrupt an addict’s everyday life and threaten their survival. But there is help for anyone suffering from prescription medication misuse. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, more than 9.4 million Americans reported abusing a prescription psychotherapeutic medication in the month before answering the survey.
What Is Rivaroxaban?
Rivaroxaban is a medication that is prescribed to treat and prevent blood clots. If a patient is at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), they may get a prescription for rivaroxaban. It can reduce the risk of developing this deadly clot. It may also be prescribed to prevent blood clots after a patient undergoes hip or knee surgery.
This medication can be safely taken by mouth when the recommended dosage is followed. But, like many prescription drugs, it can be misused when more than the recommended dose is taken. If patients continue to take more, they can develop an addiction to the medication.
Rivaroxaban is a good blood clot treatment and prevention medication. It is safer than some other medications. Some may lead to excess cerebral bleeding, even when taken properly. There are many benefits to using rivaroxaban properly for patients suffering from or at risk for a blood clot.
Rivaroxaban is a pill to be swallowed by mouth. It is prescribed in the appropriate dose based on a patient’s health. Some patients may only need to take it for a short time after a procedure that increases their risk of blood clots. Other patients may need to take them for chronic health conditions that put them at risk for blood clots or DVT.
How Is Rivaroxaban Misused?
Rivaroxaban misuse is when patients take the drug more than they are supposed to. For example, they may take extra doses between recommended doses. Another form of misuse is when patients ingest the medication in a different way. If patients chew the tablets or crush them and snort the powder, they are misusing the medication. The effects of the medication may be altered when taken improperly.
Misusing rivaroxaban can lead to a loss of control over use of the medication. Users will no longer be able to control their intake. Eventually, the use of the drug becomes wildly out of control.
Rivaroxaban can also be misused by combining it with other medications. This can increase the high. In general, rivaroxaban leaves patients feeling more tired and fatigued. This can give patients a calm, mellow feeling, particularly when they are misusing the medication or mixing it with others.
What are the Effects of Rivaroxaban Misuse?
Rivaroxaban misuse can have some negative physical side effects. It can cause frequent nosebleeds, chest pain, pain in the extremities, fatigue, nausea, headache, dizziness, light-headedness, cough, or even respiratory infections. One negative effect of misuse of rivaroxaban is excessive bleeding, which can be fatal. It can cause internal bleeding that cannot be stopped. This is known as an overdose.
Combining rivaroxaban with other medications, illicit drugs, or alcohol can lead to a fatal overdose. Rivaroxaban should never be combined with the following substances:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Other blood clot medications
- Illicit drugs
The scariest part about the misuse of rivaroxaban is that there is no antidote. In the event of an overdose, there is very little medical professionals can do to reverse or minimize the damage. Misuse of rivaroxaban can be deadly. It causes excessive internal bleeding in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. This is extremely dangerous and usually irreversible.
Rivaroxaban is also very commonly prescribed to patients over the age of 65. In this age group, dependency on medication is common but often overlooked since patients take longer to metabolize medications than younger patients. For this reason, misuse is often unnoticed or undiagnosed by doctors or family members.
How Does Rivaroxaban Misuse Start?
There are a number of ways individuals may get caught up in abusing a prescription drug like rivaroxaban. Most of the time, it arises due to the fact that is it a ceiling drug. This means that once the body has about 50 mg of rivaroxaban in it, it may stop having an effect on the body. This sometimes pushes patients to take matters into their own hands and increase the dose to increase the effect. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Modifying medication use should be left to healthcare practitioners only.
You should never take it upon yourself to increase the dose of your medication. A medical professional is the only qualified to make that decision for you. Doing so on your own can quickly lead to misuse of rivaroxaban or any other prescription drug. This can be the start of the unhealthy use of a drug. If you feel as though your medication is not working, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Patients may also feel as though chewing the pill gives them better results and think ingesting it this way is the same thing, but it is not. It is important to follow the directions provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Always respect the recommended dosage. These details are provided to you to help keep you safe. Making modifications on your own could lead to an inadvertent addiction problem.
How to Spot Rivaroxaban Misuse
If you are misusing rivaroxaban, you may not think you have a problem. But if you are taking your medication in greater quantities or more often than the prescription recommends, you may be misusing this anticoagulant medication. If you have a loved one who may be misusing rivaroxaban, you may need to look out for the signs of rivaroxaban misuse. Here are some of the signs that indicate an addiction:
- Empty pill bottles that have been hidden
- User constantly sees different doctors (doctor shopping)
- User is dishonest about how much medication they take
- Changes in behavior and/or mood
- Difficulty sleeping
- Avoiding friends and family
- Living a more isolated lifestyle
- Frequent complaining of pain in the chest or extremities
- Increased irritability when discussing medication habits
- Frequent nosebleeds in someone who has never experienced them before
- Extreme fatigue, tiredness, lack of enthusiasm
If you suspect a loved one may be suffering from rivaroxaban dependency or misuse, you should seek help from the health professionals at a treatment center like Zinnia Healing to find out how you can best help them recover from their addiction before it is too late. Rivaroxaban cannot be stopped cold turkey. It can be very dangerous for the patient, particularly if they are still at risk for blood clots and DVT. Instead, a more meticulous plan must be developed by a physician to ensure the health and safety of the patient throughout the recovery period.
Rivaroxaban Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are misusing rivaroxaban, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms when you reduce the dose. Most of these symptoms are unpleasant but should not present any life-threatening complications. But because rivaroxaban is a drug that cannot be stopped in one single shot, it is important to consult with your doctor first. You have to slowly wean to prevent the need for hospitalization. Here are some common side effects of withdrawal from rivaroxaban:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
- High blood pressure
- Upset stomach
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Back pain
- Weakness in the legs
- Heart palpitations
- Respiratory distress
To safely put an end to the misuse of rivaroxaban, patients should be put on another anticoagulant medication and slowly weaned to prevent major impacts on the heart or lungs. Under the orders of a physician, withdrawal from rivaroxaban can be done safely. If you experience severe withdrawal symptoms, you should report to your local ER as quickly as possible. Withdrawal symptoms are temporary and should subside within the first couple of weeks.
Prescription Drug Misuse in America
Millions of Americans battle prescription drug misuse every year in America and around the world. It was the driving force behind the opioid crisis that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the last decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of overdose deaths can be attributed to the misuse of prescription opioid medications.
It is a misconception that only addicts can become addicted to prescription drugs. In fact, millions of Americans with no history of drug use become highly dependent on prescription medications. The fact remains that such drugs are helpful and useful, but can be easily misused by anyone and can inadvertently lead to an addiction crisis.
Addiction is a disease in which the addictive substance takes complete control of the individual, making it very difficult for them to control their use of the substance. Once addiction has taken hold, loved ones must understand they are no longer dealing with the friend or relative they know and love. They are dealing with the addiction. Only once the addiction is controlled can you reconnect with the person you once knew.
Do I Need Help?
This is a question many suffering from substance use disorder battle in their minds. How do I know if I really need help? If you are unable to stop misusing rivaroxaban on your own, then you need help. If your addiction is now in control of your day — shopping around for doctors to get more prescriptions, lying to friends and family, having difficulty in relationships — then it is time to ask for help.
Rivaroxaban is a particularly complex addiction because it revolves around a medication you may still need and one that you cannot simply quit cold turkey. You will need the help of an experienced medical professional to find out how to reduce and control your use of the medication without jeopardizing your health condition. If this sounds like your case, then you need to seek intervention therapy as soon as possible.
When Do I Need to Seek Rehab Treatment?
Once you have completely detoxed from rivaroxaban under the supervision of a qualified medical professional, you can begin a rehab treatment program to help you understand the impact of your addiction and how to keep yourself sober for the rest of your life. Sobriety is not an overnight deal. It is a job that you must work on day after day, but the best part is that each day gets easier than the one before it.
Rehab programs can help you understand your addiction and better understand your triggers so you can continue to live a substance-free life. The first step to kicking the habit is admitting you have a problem and seeking help for it. If you are unable to control your use of rivaroxaban and find it infiltrating your daily life, it is time to seek help. Rehab is for anyone and everyone looking for help to recover from substance use.
Rehab for Rivaroxaban Addiction
Zinnia Healing offers a number of inpatient and outpatient rehab programs. Different types of therapy, including family therapy, art therapy, and more can be effective methods of helping those suffering from substance use disorder. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, it is important to first understand that you are not alone. Millions of people are struggling with the exact same problem and, yes, there is a way out.
The road to recovery is a complex one and requires love, support, patience, and forgiveness. It can be a difficult journey, but life after recovery is worth living and worth fighting for. Call Zinnia Healing today at (855) 430-9349 to learn more about the addiction recovery programs available and see which one is right for your individual needs. One day at a time, we will help get you through this.
The key to recovery is finding the right therapy program. This is a deeply personal decision. You can consult with your doctor to find out which programs may be best for you. Once you find the right program and you commit to it, you can safely recover from drug addiction. Addiction to prescription medication is an epidemic in the United States. Getting help as soon as you can make all the difference in your recovery journey.
Life After Recovery
Battling substance use disorder is a tough fight. It can be very difficult to overcome substance use, but recovery is possible. And there is so much more happiness waiting for you in recovery. Rivaroxaban misuse is no different from any other substance use problem. Zinnia Healing is here to help you find meaning in your life after recovery. If you are not sure here to start, how to find help, or how to help a loved one battling rivaroxaban addiction, contact Zinnia Healing today.
We are here to help. You do not have to do it alone. Call us 24/7 at (855) 430-9349 to discuss a customized program to help you on your road to recovery.