Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Patients With Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation: Update and Periprocedural Management.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Critical care nurse


Vitamin K antagonists (eg, warfarin) have been the standard of care for stroke prophylaxis in atrial fibrillation. The direct oral anticoagulants dabigatran (direct thrombin inhibitor) and rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban (direct factor Xa inhibitors) are as efficacious as and in some instances superior to vitamin K antagonists in the prevention of stroke, systemic embolism, and major bleeding compared with warfarin for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Benefits of direct oral anticoagulants include a rapid onset of therapeutic effect, fixed dose-response relationships without the need for routine monitoring, a short half-life, and infrequent need for periprocedural bridging with a parenteral agent. However, direct oral anticoagulants differ in subsets of patients. Critical care and advanced practice nurses must understand these differences, prescribing considerations, drug aherence interventions, drug-drug interactions, and periprocedural management. This article presents an update and review of direct oral antigcoagulants based on the latest national guidelines.




Critical Care Medicine