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Atrial fibrillation (AF) significantly increases the risk of thromboembolism. Until recently, thromboprophylaxis in high-risk AF patients has been limited to vitamin K antagonists. Emerging, novel oral anticoagulants are more selective, targeting specific steps in the coagulation cascade. These agents include direct thrombin inhibitors such as dabigatran and Factor Xa inhibitors such as rivaroxaban, and apixaban. These medications bring the potential for decreased monitoring and improved risk profiles with regard to bleeding and drug-drug interactions.
Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET AF) was an international, multicentre, event-driven non-inferiority trial comparing rivaroxaban versus dose-adjusted warfarin for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism (primary efficacy endpoint). ROCKET AF enrolled 14264 patients with non-valvular AF at moderate to high risk of stroke and randomised them in a …
Competing interests JPP received grants for clinical research from Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare and was an investigator in the ROCKET AF trial. He serves as a consultant to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Forrest Laboratories and Sanofi Aventis. MS has no conflicting interests.