Practical guidance for using rivaroxaban in patients with atrial fibrillation: balancing benefit and risk
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Rivaroxaban is a direct factor Xa inhibitor that is widely available to reduce the risk of stroke or systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and one or more risk factors for stroke. Rivaroxaban provides practical advantages compared with warfarin and other vitamin K antagonists, including a rapid onset of action, few drug interactions, no dietary interactions, a predictable anticoagulant effect, and no requirement for routine coagulation monitoring. However, questions have emerged relating to the responsible use of rivaroxaban in day-to-day clinical practice, including patient selection, dosing, treatment of patients with renal impairment, conversion from use of vitamin K antagonists to rivaroxaban and vice versa, coagulation tests, and management of patients requiring invasive procedures or experiencing bleeding or an ischemic event. This article provides practical recommendations relating to the use of rivaroxaban in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, based on clinical trial evidence, relevant guidelines, prescribing information, and the authors' clinical experience.
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