Limitations of Traditional Anticoagulants

Authors

  • David Hawkins Pharm.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, Atlanta, Georgia
      Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341.

Abstract

Warfarin and unfractionated heparin have been in clinical use for more than 50 years. Both are effective anticoagulants, but their use is associated with a number of impediments, including the need for intensive coagulation monitoring, wide variation in dose-response relationships, multiple drug interactions (in the case of warfarin), and serious immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (in the case of heparin). The introduction of low-molecular-weight heparins 10 years ago advanced anticoagulation therapy by enhancing efficacy and eliminating the need for intensive coagulation monitoring. Fondaparinux, the first selective factor Xa inhibitor, represents yet another improvement in anticoagulation therapy with even greater efficacy and safety.

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