The condition and the treatment

Acute coronary syndrome is the term used for a group of heart problems. It includes unstable angina and heart attacks. These are heart problems that cause chest pain or discomfort. The pain is caused by a blockage or narrowing of one of the main blood vessels in the heart (coronary arteries). After an acute coronary syndrome, people may have raised levels of cardiac biomarkers in their blood. Cardiac biomarkers are proteins that are released into the blood when heart muscle has been damaged.

People who have had an acute coronary syndrome are at risk of having further problems, such as a heart attack or stroke, caused by blood clots.

Rivaroxaban (also known as Xarelto) is a drug that can reduce or prevent blood clots forming. It can be used for people who have had an acute coronary syndrome if a blood test shows they have raised cardiac biomarkers. People taking rivaroxaban should also take aspirin, or aspirin with clopidogrel, every day. Aspirin and clopidogrel are drugs that help prevent blood clotting.

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