A new generation of oral direct anticoagulants
Acute Coronary Syndrome
After more than 50 years of thrombosis treatment and prophylaxis being based on heparin and vitamin K antagonists, a new generation of oral, direct anticoagulants is now available. The past 5 years have brought a strikingly large number of trials that evaluated these new oral anticoagulants in a range of clinical trials, particularly nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, thrombosis prophylaxis after major joint replacement surgery, treatment of venous thromboembolic events, and, most recently, acute coronary syndrome. These studies have been notably similar in design between the drugs for specific indication. This review focuses on the 3 drugs that either have recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (dabigatran and rivaroxaban) or have the most mature phase III clinical data (apixaban).