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Revista chilena de cardiología

On-line version ISSN 0718-8560


BERKOVITS, Alejandro  and  MEZZANO, Diego. New oral anticoagulants: a review. Rev Chil Cardiol [online]. 2017, vol.36, n.3, pp.254-263. ISSN 0718-8560.

Vitamin K inhibitors, coumarins, have been used for more than 50 years with no dispute by other drugs. Coumarins have demonstrated great efficacy in the treatment and prophylaxis of thrombotic and thromboembolic disorders, and their use has increased progressively with the advance of clinical knowledge as well as the increase of risk factors and aging of the population. Limitations of coumarins include great variability intra and inter-individuals, the influence of foods rich in vitamin K, the need for periodical assessment of the anticoagulant level and drug interactions. The therapeutic range is standardized using the INR (International Normalized Ratio). However, the therapeutic window is narrow, with frequent periods of either over or under-dosing, with the concomitant increase of bleeding and thrombotic risks, respectively. Long-term accredited anticoagulant clinics and clinical trials report that, at best, only ≈60% of time in treatment the patients are within the therapeutic range.

These limitations have created the need for new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), and several of them have been approved for clinical use by international agencies after exhaustive and specific clinical trials. Generically, NACOs are belong in two types: selective inhibitors of thrombin (dabigatran) or FXa (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban and betrixaban). NOACs are prescribed once or twice daily, the onset of action is very fast, have a low T1/2 in the circulation, their effects are highly predictable, doses are pre-established, do not need laboratory control and have a low rate of interaction with other drugs. Despite these advantages most clinical trials have shown NOACs to be not inferior with respect to coumarin. However, NOACs have no clear advantages over warfarin in antithrombotic effect or bleeding reduction. Furthermore, most of them (except dabigatran) have no specific antidotes yet.

Keywords : New Anticoagulants; Rivaroxaban.

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