Direct oral anticoagulants: a review on the current role and scope of reversal agents.
New guideline recommendations prefer direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) over warfarin in DOAC-eligible patients with atrial fibrillation and patients with venous thromboembolism. As expected with all antithrombotic agents, there is an associated increased risk of bleeding complications in patients receiving DOACs that can be attributed to the DOAC itself, or other issues such as acute trauma, invasive procedures, or underlying comorbidities. For the majority of severe bleeding events, the widespread approach is to withdraw the DOAC, then provide supportive measures and "watchful waiting" with the expectation that the bleeding event will resolve with time. However, urgent reversal of anticoagulation may be advantageous in patients with serious or life-threatening bleeding or in those requiring urgent surgery or procedures. Until recently, the lack of specific reversal agents, has affected the uptake of these agents in clinical practice despite a safer profile compared to warfarin in clinical trials. In cases of life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding or when patients require emergency surgery or urgent procedures, idarucizumab has been recently approved for reversal of anticoagulation in dabigatran-treated patients and andexanet alfa for factor Xa inhibitor-treated treated patients. The current review summarizes the current clinical evidence and scope of these agents with the potential impact on DOAC use in clinical practice.
Chaudhary, R; Sharma, T; Garg, J; Sukhi, A; Bliden, K; Tantry, U; Turagam, M; Lakkireddy, D; Gurbel, P
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