Dabigatran in clinical practice: Contemporary overview of the evidence
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Oral anticoagulation is the cornerstone of stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) and management of venous thromboembolism (VTE), resulting in a reduction in thrombotic complications and mortality. Benefit of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) in such patients has been unambiguously confirmed, but VKA use is complicated by need for regular monitoring of the international normalized ratio and multiple drug and food interactions. Dabigatran is an oral direct thrombin inhibitor that can be used with fixed doses, without the need for routine anticoagulation laboratory monitoring and the advantage of few drug or diet interactions. Dabigatran is effective for stroke and systemic thromboembolism in AF and for the prophylaxis and treatment of VTE. The drug has a good safety profile and consistently shows a reduction in intracranial hemorrhage risk compared to warfarin. A specific reversal agent for dabigatran has been approved by FDA and EU. This review provides a summary of publications assessing clinical utility of dabigatran for different indications.
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