Public Health and Primary CareReview Article

Non–Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants: The Clinician’s New Challenge

Brian K. Yorkgitis, PA-C, DO; Jeanette Zhang, MD; and Joseph F. Rappold, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: June 8, 2015

Published: October 1, 2015

J Osteopath Med; 115(10): 612-621

Millions of US patients are prescribed oral anticoagulants. Traditionally, oral anticoagulation was achieved with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs). In recent years, non–VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have emerged that provide an effective and convenient alternative to VKAs. These agents possess very different pharmacologic properties from what the medical community has grown accustom to with the VKAs. Thus, a new knowledge base is required for NOACs. One particular challenge with the NOACs is the lack of specific reversal agent, resulting in difficulties correcting the coagulopathy induced by these drugs when needed. A review of the current literature is presented to assist clinicians in gaining knowledge of the NOACs to care for patients.

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