J&J drug wins wider approval, to treat, prevent, leg, lung clots

Fri Nov 2, 2012 4:49pm EDT

Nov 2 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Friday said they had approved expanded use of Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto blood thinner, to treat blood clots in the legs and lungs and to reduce the risk of such clots recurring after initial treatment.

The pill is already approved to reduce the risk of such leg clots, called deep vein thrombosis, and lung clots, following knee or hip replacement surgery. It is also already approved to prevent strokes in patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

"Xarelto is the first oral anti-clotting drug approved to treat and reduce the recurrence of blood clots since the approval of warfarin 60 years ago," the FDA said in a release.