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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2016 May 15;73(10 Suppl 2):S5-S13. doi: 10.2146/ajhp150966.

Overview of direct oral anticoagulant therapy reversal.

Author information

1
Anticoagulation Services, Sanford University of South Dakota Medical Center, Sioux Falls, SD. michael.gulseth@sanfordhealth.org.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Strategies for the management of bleeding complications and facilitation of an invasive procedure in patients receiving direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are reviewed.

SUMMARY:

The DOACs provide clinical advantages versus vitamin K antagonists, including fixed dosing with no routine coagulation monitoring and evidence of a lower risk of bleeding. However, as with all anticoagulants, there is a risk of bleeding complications in patients receiving DOACs, so urgent reversal of their anticoagulant activity may be required for spontaneous or traumatic bleeding events and in patients undergoing emergency invasive procedures. Reversal strategies are dependent on the anticoagulant involved, the location and severity of the bleeding, and/or the urgency of the invasive procedure. The recently approved specific reversal agent for dabigatran, idarucizumab, together with other reversal agents in development will hopefully allow for the emergent reversal of DOACs, without increasing the underlying risk of thrombosis. However, research is required to determine the optimal use of these reversal agents, in terms of choice of agent, dosing, and concomitant management. A systematic approach to their implementation in hospitals is also required to ensure that physicians, nurses, and pharmacists receive appropriate education and have the necessary protocols and guidelines to manage these clinical situations.

CONCLUSION:

Reversal strategies in patients receiving a DOAC need to be tailored to the anticoagulant involved as well as the urgency and severity of the clinical situation. Reversal agents should help facilitate the urgent reversal of anticoagulation in patients with emergency bleeding or who require urgent surgery, though research and education are required to ensure the optimal use of these agents.

PMID:
27147458
DOI:
10.2146/ajhp150966
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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