Analysis of the Cochrane Review: Direct Thrombin Inhibitors versus Vitamin K Antagonists for Preventing Cerebral or Systemic Embolism in People with Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014,3:CD009893.
AbstractIschemic stroke is one of the most important complications of lone (non-valvular) atrial fibrillation. Its prevention is usually accomplished through oral anticoagulation. Until a few years ago warfarin was the most used agent, but recently two new pharmacologic classes have been introduced for stroke prevention in these patients: oral direct thrombin inhibitors (dabigatran and ximelagatran) and oral factor Xa inhibitors (rivaroxaban, apixaban and edoxaban). In this systematic review, oral direct thrombin inhibitors were compared with warfarin for efficacy and safety. The results indicate that there is no difference in terms of efficacy (except dabigatran 150 mg BID). Oral direct thrombin inhibitors presented less hemorrhages but increased treatment withdrawal due to adverse side-effects (the authors performed post-hoc analyses excluding ximelagatran because this drug was withdrawn from the market owing to safety concerns). There was no difference in terms of mortality between the agents.
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