New anticoagulants: how to deal with treatment failure and bleeding complications

Authors


Dr Rashid S. Kazmi MRCP FRCPath, Consultant Haematologist, Southampton University Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK. Tel.: +44 23 8079 8862, Fax: +44 23 8079 4134, E-mail: syed.kazmi@suht.swest.nhs.uk

Abstract

Conventional anticoagulants have proven efficacy in the management of thromboembolism. Their adverse effects and a narrow therapeutic window, necessitating regular need for monitoring, however, have long been an incentive for the development of safer anticoagulants without compromising efficacy. Over the last decade or so several new parenteral and oral anticoagulants have been launched with efficacy comparable with conventional agents. From fondaparinux to its long acting derivative idraparinux, and the factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban to the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran, the advent of new anticoagulants is radically changing anticoagulation. For conventional anticoagulants, despite their shortcomings, effective methods of reversing their anticoagulant effects exist. Moreover, strategies to deal with the occurrence of fresh thrombotic events in the face of therapeutic anticoagulation with the conventional agents have also been addressed. Nevertheless, for the new anticoagulants, the optimal management of these complications remains unknown. This review explores these issues in the light of current evidence.

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