Direct thrombin inhibitors: alternatives to heparin.
After more than 70 years of effective clinical use, heparin remains the most common anticoagulant in use and one of the most commonly prescribed drugs to hospitalized patients. However, the biologic variability and immunogenicity limit its utility. With increasing volumes of vascular intervention and an aging population, an increase in the need for anticoagulation can be anticipated. This article reviews current viable options and barriers to the use of heparin.
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