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Novel Oral Anticoagulant Management Issues For The Stroke Clinician

Andrew Wassef, Kenneth Butcher
Published 2016 · Medicine
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Background Four nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are approved for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Aims In this review, we assemble available evidence for the best management of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients in the context of NOAC use. Summary of review NOACs provide predictable anticoagulation with fixed dosages. The direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and direct factor Xa inhibitors apixaban, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban are all noninferior to warfarin for the prevention of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism and are associated with reduced incidence of intracranial hemorrhage. While these agents offer treatment options for NVAF patients, they also present challenges specific to the clinician managing cerebrovascular disease patients. Conclusions We summarize available evidence and current approaches to the initiation, dosing, monitoring and potential reversal of NOACs in stroke patients.
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