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Prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism and pulmonary embolism: the role of novel oral anticoagulants



Prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism and pulmonary embolism: the role of novel oral anticoagulants



Current Clinical Pharmacology 7(3): 175-194



Venous thromboembolism, encompassing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is the third most common cause of vascular death after myocardial infarction and stroke. Clinicians are often summoned to make challenging decisions for the prevention and treatment of high risk patients with an unpredicted outcome, often relying on data that are less than definitive. During the last decades, heparins (unfractionated and low molecular weight heparins) as well as vitamin K antagonists, such as warfarin, and indirect Xa inhibitors, such as fontaparinux, are the cornerstone for the prevention and treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism. However, the traditionally used anticoagulants have several drawbacks that may limit their efficacy and use in every day clinical practise. The newly developed oral anticoagulants, belonging to the categories of direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) and direct Xa inhibitors, have emerged as promising agents with remarkable efficacy, concentrating many parameters of an ideal anticoagulant. Rivaroxaban, dabigatran and apixaban are the most studied agents, while a plethora of others are investigated in clinical trials of different phases and are expected to reach the market in the following years. The purpose of this review is to summarize the so far acquired knowledge on these agents, to report briefly some of their pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties and to focus on their role in the treatment and prevention of venous thromboembolism.

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Accession: 055167347

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PMID: 22564124


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