|Clinical Development Phases I-III Regulatory, Quality, Manufacturing|
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is both a health and a social problem. AF is related to the elevated risk of thromboembolic events with stroke being the most important. It adversely affects life expectancy and quality. The risk of ischemic stroke is increased fivefold in patients with AF. Therapeutic options for lowering the risk of stroke in patients with AF consist of vitamin K antagonists and antiplatelet agents, which have relative risk reductions of approximately 60% and 20%, respectively. Alternative therapeutic options available to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with nonvalvular AF are relatively new. In recent years, new oral anticoagulants have been introduced for this indication. Reversible direct thrombin inhibitors and factor Xa inhibitors are new oral anticoagulant agents that have demonstrated efficacy and good safety profiles for preventing stroke and embolic events. The intent of this overview is to review the novel oral anticoagulants recommended for stroke prevention in patients with AF.