Novel oral anticoagulants: a review of the literature and considerations in special clinical situations

Frank Akwaa, Alex C Spyropoulos
Hospital Practice (Minneapolis) 2013, 41 (1): 8-18
Novel oral anticoagulants (OACs), including dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban, and apixaban, are available alternative anticoagulant therapy to vitamin K antagonists. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban for the treatment of appropriate patients for specific clinical indications. Therapeutic advantages of prescribing the new OACs are related to their predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. Dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban have all been shown to be noninferior to warfarin treatment for stroke prevention in respective phase 3 clinical trials; dabigatran and apixaban were shown to be superior to warfarin as preventive therapy. Dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban are all approved agents for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation in the United States and Europe. Among these agents, rivaroxaban is the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of venous thromboembolism. This article reviews the major clinical trials that investigated the efficacy and safety of the new OACs and the use of these agents in special clinical situations.

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