, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 310-320
Date: 16 Feb 2011

New oral anticoagulants

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The new oral anticoagulants may prove to be one of the most significant innovations in clinical practice in the past 60 years. Apixaban and rivaroxaban are specific inhibitors of Factor Xa while dabigatran inhibits Factor IIa. The predictable pharmacological profile of these new agents will allow physicians to use these drugs without the need for routine coagulation monitoring which is the mainstay of warfarin therapy. In addition, these new agents have not been shown to have any food interactions and limited drug–drug interactions due to their minimal metabolism through the CYP450 system. This unique pharmacokinetic profile may usher in for clinicians a new era of managing thromboembolic disorders. In this paper, the pharmacology of these new oral anticoagulants are reviewed along with the major clinical trials in venous thromboembolism prevention in total hip and knee replacement orthopedic surgery, the treatment of venous thromboembolic disorders and stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation.