An Alternative to Warfarin

Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants may work as well as warfarin for patients with atrial fibrillation

(RxWiki News) There may be an alternative to warfarin to prevent cardiovascular problems associated with atrial fibrillation during cardioversion treatment, a new study found.

That possible alternative is edoxaban, a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC).

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart beat that increases patients' risk for blood clots, strokes and other complications. Cardioversion is often used to restore a regular rhythm.

This process, however, can lead to blood clots and other problems, so patients are often prescribed warfarin to help keep that from happening. 

This study of nearly 2,200 patients with atrial fibrillation who were about to undergo cardioversion found that treatment with edoxaban and warfarin had similar results.

These researchers said edoxaban — as well as other NOACs — might work just as well as warfarin to prevent the potential problems tied to cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation.

It is important to note that this study was small, which could limit its findings.

This study was published in The Lancet.

Daiichi Sankyo, the maker of edoxaban, funded this research. Several of the authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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Review Date: 
September 27, 2016