Clinical utility of rivaroxaban in stroke prevention associated with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation – patient considerations
Ingo Ahrens, Christoph Bode
Heart Center, University of Freiburg, Department of Cardiology and Angiology I, Freiburg, Germany
Abstract: The direct factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban was the first within the group of orally available direct factor Xa inhibitors to gain clinical approval for oral anticoagulation in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation in 2011. The –xabans, as drugs from the group of oral direct factor Xa inhibitors are often referred to, comprise currently three drugs (apixaban, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban) with clinical approval for a variety of clinical indications that require oral anticoagulation therapy. The number of patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation requiring long-term oral anticoagulation therapy for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism is predicted to increase up to five times by 2050. Many of these patients will be within the elderly and aging population that is at a higher risk of stroke and also at a higher risk for bleeding events. This requires novel options for efficient and safe oral anticoagulation, and rivaroxaban is one of the novel oral anticoagulants that have been shown to be at least as effective as vitamin K antagonists in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Furthermore, like all of the novel oral anticoagulants, rivaroxaban provides a significant reduction in intracerebral hemorrhage compared with vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin. The clinical utility of oral anticoagulation with rivaroxaban in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation is discussed here, along with special patient considerations, including impaired renal function, switching from a vitamin K antagonist, and patients with concomitant acute coronary syndrome.
Keywords: rivaroxaban, factor Xa, stroke, intracranial bleeding, vitamin K antagonist, atrial fibrillation, acute coronary syndrome, triple therapy, BAY 59-7939, DX9065a, DU-176b
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