A Review on the Use of Reversal Agents of Direct Oral Anticogulant Drugs in Case of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Author(s): Veronica Ojetti*, Angela Saviano, Mattia Brigida, Luisa Saviano, Alessio Migneco, Francesco Franceschi

Journal Name: Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials

Volume 15 , Issue 4 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Major bleeding is a life-threatening condition and a medical emergency with high mortality risk. It is often the complication of anticoagulant’s intake. Anticoagulants are commonly used for the prevention and treatment of thrombotic events. The standard therapy with vitamin K antagonist (warfarin) has been frequently replaced by direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). The latter agents (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban, dabigatran, and betrixaban) showed better efficacy and safety compared to standard warfarin treatment and they are recommended for the reduction of ischemic stroke. Literature data reported a high risk of gastrointestinal bleeding with DOACs, in particular with dabigatran and rivaroxaban. In case of life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding, these patients could benefit from the use of reversal agents.

Methods: We performed an electronic search on PUBMED of the literature concerning reversal agents for DOACs and gastrointestinal bleeding in the Emergency Department from 2004 to 2020.

Aim: This review summarizes the current evidence about three reversal agents idarucizumab, andexanet alfa and ciraparantag, and the use of the first two in the emergency setting in patients with active major bleeding or who need urgent surgery which physicians indicate for a better management approach in order to increase patient’s safety.

Conclusion: Although these agents have been marketed for five years (idarucizumab) and two years (andexanet alfa) respectively, and despite guidelines considering antidotes as first-line agents in treating life-threatening hemorrhage when available, these antidotes seem to gain access very slowly in the clinical practice. Cost, logistical aspects and need for plasma level determination of DOAC for an accurate therapeutic use probably have an impact on this phenomenon.. An expert multidisciplinary bleeding team should be established so as to implement international guidelines based on local resources and organization.

Keywords: bleeding, reversal agents, DOACs, idarucizumab, andexanet alfa, ciraparantag

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Page: [309 - 320]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/1574887115666200624193938
Price: $65

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