American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 365–376 | Cite as

Anticoagulation in Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Medically Ill Patients: Potential Impact of NOACs

  • Tara L. Knotts
  • Shaker A. MousaEmail author
Review Article


While substantial evidence supports the use of standard-duration injectable anticoagulants for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis, consensus is mixed about which agents may be preferred in acutely ill patients with ongoing need of VTE prophylaxis past the first 10-day duration of hospital stay and post-discharge. Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) provide Factor Xa inhibition to prevent the thrombin generation essential in thromboembolism development, but evidence for the efficacy and safety of most NOACs is conflicting regarding extended-duration prophylaxis. Enoxaparin, a preferred injectable anticoagulant in standard-duration VTE prophylaxis, has shown an increased risk of major bleeding events when used in extended-duration prophylaxis, which outweighs its benefit. Rivaroxaban has demonstrated efficacy in extended-duration prophylaxis, but both rivaroxaban and apixaban have shown increased risks of major bleeding. Betrixaban remains the only NOAC approved in the USA for extended-duration VTE prophylaxis, and it demonstrates efficacy, with fewer adverse effects than other NOACs. This review evaluates the appropriateness of different NOAC agents compared with current therapies for the extended-duration VTE prophylaxis setting in medically ill populations.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

T. Knotts and S. A. Mousa have no potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to the contents of this manuscript.


No external funding was used in the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesRensselaerUSA

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