Clinical strategies for selecting oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia. One of the important aspects of the management of atrial fibrillation is stroke prevention. Warfarin has been the longstanding anticoagulant used for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. There are now three novel oral anticoagulants, which have been studied in randomized controlled trials and subsequently approved by the Federal Drug Administration for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Special patient populations, including renal insufficiency, elderly, prior stroke, and extreme body weights, were represented to varying degrees in the clinical trials of the novel oral anticoagulants. Furthermore, there is variation in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of each anticoagulant, which affect the patient populations differently. Patients and clinicians are faced with the task of selecting among the available anticoagulants, and this review is designed to be a tool for clinical decision-making.
Pokorney, SD; Sherwood, MW; Becker, RC
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