A clinician’s perspective: novel oral anticoagulants to reduce the risk of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation – full speed ahead or proceed with caution?
Division of Cardiology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA
Abstract: Over the past few years, three novel oral anticoagulants, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban, have been approved in the USA and Europe to reduce the risk of stroke or systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, and the results of a Phase III trial for a fourth novel oral anticoagulant, edoxaban, have recently been published. The aim of this review is to examine this indication from a clinician’s perspective, highlighting efficacy and safety results from the major trials with these novel oral agents. Clinical issues regarding bleeding, monitoring, and reversal are discussed, along with requirements to consider when interrupting treatment with a novel oral anticoagulant for the purpose of transitioning to another anticoagulant and prior to cardioversion, ablation, percutaneous coronary intervention, or emergency surgery. The cost-effectiveness of each of the approved novel oral anticoagulants is reviewed, and the author provides recommendations for selecting appropriate patients for these agents.
Keywords: apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, edoxaban, anticoagulant reversal, anticoagulant monitoring
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