Fondaparinux (Arixtra) is a medication that is an anticoagulant. more...
It is a pentasaccharide composed of five sugars, and the sequence of the five sugars is derived from the portion of heparin that binds to antithrombin. By binding to antithrombin, fondaparinux inhibits factor Xa. (By contrast, low molecular weight heparin has a mean of 15 sugars.)
Fondaparinux is given subcutaneously daily. Clinically, it is used for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients who have had orthopedic surgery as well as for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
One potential advantage of fondaparinux over LMWH or unfractionated heparin is that the risk for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia is substantially lower. Furthermore, there have been case reports of fondaparinux being used to anticoagulate patients with established HIT. However, its long half life precludes its use in patients with renal dysfunction.
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