Rivaroxaban for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation: a critical review of the ROCKET AF trial
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Oral anticoagulation is the mainstay of therapy for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin have many drawbacks that reduce their uptake, safety and effectiveness. The ROCKET AF trial compared rivaroxaban (20 mg/day; 15 mg/day in patients with creatinine clearance 30-49 ml/min) with dose-adjusted warfarin (international normalized ratio 2-3) in 14,264 patients with AF and a prior history of stroke or at least two other additional risk factors for stroke. The ROCKET AF trial demonstrated the noninferiority of rivaroxaban compared with warfarin for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism, with a similar rate of major bleeding and a substantial reduction in intracranial hemorrhage. These results, in conjunction with its convenient once-daily dosing regimen, make rivaroxaban an attractive alternative to warfarin for stroke prevention in AF.
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