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International Journal of General Medicine

Clinical Articles, News & Views

Switching patients with AF to NOACs in primary care

Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) constitute “a new era in anticoagulation therapy” for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a review published recently in the International Journal of General Medicine.1

NOACs have a clear benefit in reducing intracranial bleeding and offer a more convenient therapy for patients and health care providers that may help ensure that more eligible AF patients receive an appropriate anticoagulant therapy based on their stroke and bleeding risks, say the authors.

Strategies for switching vary within each drug and INR values should be checked before transition, but despite that VKAs are still the preferred anticoagulants for some cases, they say. Importantly, physicians should be looking at reasons to use NOACs, instead of looking at reasons not to use them, so a higher quality of anticoagulation therapy in AF patients can be achieved, improving patient outcomes and safety, the authors find.

NOACs are approved and available for non-valvular AF patients who are at increased risk of stroke. These agents are safe and effective and have important advantages over VKAs, such as significant reduction in intracranial haemorrhage and no need for routine laboratory monitoring, the authors add.


1. Guimarães PO, Kaatz S, Lopes RD. Practical and clinical considerations in assessing patients with atrial fibrillation for switching to non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in primary care. International Journal of General Medicine 2015;8:283–91.

Published on: October 30, 2015

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    None Found


  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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