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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2008 Dec;33(6):581-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2008.00959.x.

Managing oral anticoagulation therapy: improving clinical outcomes. A review.

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1
Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Abstract

Many physicians are reluctant to prescribe oral anticoagulation therapy (OAT) because of the fear of haemorrhagic complications. Changes in patient health, lifestyle or diet and other drugs can alter the effectiveness of oral anticoagulants. These potential interferences, added to the fact that each individual has a different reaction to these drugs, requires that therapy is monitored regularly. This article aims to review those strategies which help to achieve optimal anticoagulation control and improve the outcomes of OAT. Relevant articles were identified through a search of MEDLINE and included publications reporting on intensity of anticoagulation, the initiation of therapy and the role of pharmacogenetics, the transition from primary to secondary care, management by specialized clinics using decision support software and home-testing. Implementation of these strategies would increase the use of oral anticoagulants by physicians and offers the potential to improve patient safety and reduce adverse events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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