Reversal of target-specific oral anticoagulants
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The target-specific oral anticoagulants represent the first new oral anti-thrombotic therapy in over 50 years and have the potential to make therapy easier and hence more accessible to many patients. Like any new therapy, the potential benefits must be weighed against the potential challenges and one of the most concerning aspects of the new target-specific oral anticoagulants is the lack of a proven method to reverse their effect. Unlike the vitamin K antagonist, i.e. warfarin, there is no specific antidote for these medications. This paper will review the limited data on the use of non-specific therapies to reverse anticoagulation for the new agents. We hope to prepare clinicians who are faced with a patient who has serious bleeding or needs emergent surgery while taking dabigatran, rivaroxaban or apixaban.
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