Are the novel anticoagulants better than warfarin for patients with atrial fibrillation?

Colleen M. Hanley, Peter R. Kowey


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality related to stroke due to thromboembolism. Several novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been developed that dosedependently inhibit thrombin or activated factor X (factor Xa). These new agents offer potential advantages over vitamin K antagonists, however, several limitations exist. We will review the four large randomized trials comparing the efficacy and safety of new oral anticoagulants with warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with AF as well as assess “real world” data and discuss the limitations of the new agents.