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Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) carry many advantages over warfarin and are now considered first line or an alternative for mnay thromboembolic disorders. With the emergence of 5 DOAC agents to the market as well as the accumulating evidence gathered from head-to-head comparisons between the agents, we attempt to provide direction for clinicians when selecting the most appropriate DOAC agent. Important aspects such as efficacy, safety, cost effectiveness, approved indications, and other drug-related factors will be addressed to highlight the major similarities and diversities among the DOACs. When considering the safety profile of DOACs, evidence points toward apixaban as the safest followed by dabigatran and then rivaroxaban. On the other hand, dabigatran currently has the only approved antidote, idarucizumab. According to the approved DOAC indications, rivaroxaban may be favorable in European countries given its additional indication for secondary prevention of myocardial infarction. Following rivaroxaban, dabigatran and apixaban have the largest number of approved indications and lastly comes edoxaban and then betrixaban. For patients with renal impairment, betrixaban is the safest option, followed by apixaban and edoxaban, then rivaroxaban and lastly dabigatran. When considering DOAC dosing, rivaroxaban, edoxaban, and betrixaban are mainly dosed once daily compared to dabigatran and apixaban, which are dosed twice daily. However, rivaroxaban and betrixaban must be administered with food, which adds another level of complexity to the DOAC dosing. Lastly, taking into consideration drug interactions, dabigatran, edoxaban, and betrixaban have the least amount of interactions compared to apixaban and rivaroxaban. Each DOAC has its own set of features that makes it better suited than others based on the exact clinical situation. Therefore, no conclusion can be drawn to the most superior DOAC based on the aspects discussed in this review.
PMID: 30092658 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]