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Current guidelines and prospects for using novel oral anticoagulants for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation

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The capabilities of antithrombotic therapy to prevent systemic thromboembolic events in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) are substantially extended after clinically introducing novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs), such as dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban. World clinical experience with NOACs in AF has confirmed their efficacy and safety in both primary and secondary stroke prevention. At the same time, apixaban additionally reduces the risk of fatal outcomes and it is the safest among the NOACs against hemorrhagic events. The low risks of intracranial hemorrhage typical of NOACs should be taken into account when choosing oral anticoagulant therapy after hemorrhagic stroke in patients at
high risk for thromboembolic events due to AF. Whether NOACs may be used in acute myocardial infarction and during coronary stenting in the presence of nonvalvular AF, left ventricular thromboses, and cardiomyopathies is considered. In real clinical practice, nonvalvular AF may be accompanied by different cardiovascular diseases, by creating the situations where there are no specific guidelines for the use of NOACs. The results of comparing the clinical efficiency of different antithrombotic therapy regimens, the subanalysis of randomized trials, and experts’ opinions may assist a physician to substantiate their decisions. Thus, just a few NOACs that are similar and/or superior to warfarin in efficacy and safety have emerged to date. There are grounds to believe that many physicians will prefer direct anticoagulants to warfarin not only because of their proven efficacy, but also the rapid onset of their anticoagulant effect, neither interaction with a number of foods or drugs, and above all, nor need for regular laboratory blood testing. World post-marketing
surveillance and new clinical tests will be helpful in better estimating the benefits and risks of treatment with NOACs and in expanding indications for their use, which will considerably enhance the possibilities of preventing thromboembolic events in cardiac pathology in the period ahead.

About the Author

A. V. Fonyakin
Neurology Research Center, Moscow, Russia 80, Volokolamskoe Shosse, Moscow 125367
Russian Federation


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For citation:

Fonyakin A.V. Current guidelines and prospects for using novel oral anticoagulants for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2014;6(4):19-25. (In Russ.)

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