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An update on the bleeding risks associated with DOACs

Abstract

The direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), also referred to as novel (or non-vitamin K antagonist) oral anticoagulants (NOACs), represent a major development in anticoagulation therapy due to their rapid onset of action, predictable dose–response with fixed doses and limited interactions with food and drugs.1,2 However, these agents have been in widespread clinical use for less than a decade and, compared with extensive experience with warfarin, there is uncertainty relating to optimal laboratory monitoring of anticoagulation, perioperative management and treatment of bleeding.3 In addition, there is currently only one drug licensed in the UK for rapid reversal of the anticoagulant effect of a DOAC. Here, we review DOAC-related bleeding and the role of drugs to reverse the anticoagulant action of DOACs.

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