Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and may cause thromboembolic events, typically stroke. Advances in pharmacological approaches to anticoagulation and groundbreaking large randomized controlled trials of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have changed the paradigm of anticoagulation therapy. Furthermore, observational studies support the efficacy and safety of NOAC. Few studies address the differences among NOACs, but prescriptions should be based on a thorough understanding of their pharmacological differences, including interactions, side effects, reversibility, and practical approach. In a subset of patients with AF, warfarin may still be the preferable option. Consequently, an individualized approach to oral anticoagulation is crucial.
Part of the book: Epidemiology and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation