Reduced Dose Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Older Adults with Atrial Fibrillation

  • Silu ZuoEmail author
  • Billy Chen
  • Akash Kataruka
  • Sean M. Bell
Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly (M Chen, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly


Purpose of Review

Doses of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are often reduced in older adults based on age, renal function, and bleeding risk. This review assesses recent evidence for safety and efficacy of reduced dose DOAC regimens in older adults.

Recent Findings

Dabigatran 110 mg twice daily shows similar efficacy and similar or lower bleeding risk compared to 150 mg twice daily in several studies. Dabigatran 110 mg is approved outside the USA and can be considered in ages > 75–80, or in patients with a propensity for higher dabigatran blood levels. Rivaroxaban 15 mg, apixaban 2.5 mg, and edoxaban 30 mg are safe and effective when used appropriately in patients who qualify based on labeled dosing. Limited evidence suggests inappropriately dose-reduced DOACs may increase risk for thromboembolic events.


Besides dabigatran, dose reduction of apixaban, rivaroxaban, and edoxaban should be limited to patients who qualify based on FDA-approved parameters. The risk of stroke and bleeding should be carefully considered and discussed with each patient when deciding whether to reduce a DOAC dose off-label.


Direct oral anticoagulant Elderly Low dose Reduced dose 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Silu Zuo, Billy Chen, Akash Kataruka, and Sean Bell declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silu Zuo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Billy Chen
    • 2
  • Akash Kataruka
    • 2
  • Sean M. Bell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyUW Medicine, University of Washington School of PharmacySeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of CardiologyUW MedicineSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUW MedicineSeattleUSA

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