Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a very common clinically significant arrhythmia noted in clinical practice. Its incidence increases with age and along with advanced age, other risk factors such hypertension, vascular disease, heart failure, diabetes, prior stroke and female sex determine the associated stroke risk with AF. For over 40 years warfarin has been the drug of choice used to reduce this stroke risk associated with AF. However, the narrow therapeutic range, dietary restrictions, and chronic monitoring with warfarin led to the development of novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) such as dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban. The purpose of this chapter is to elucidate pharmacology and the clinical performance of these NOACs in the setting of non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).
Part of the book: Anticoagulation Therapy