The novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are Xarelto, Eliquis, Pradaxa and Savaysa. And some patients are afraid of them.
But the stats show that in many cases, the NOACs are better for afib patients than the old standby, warfarin.
In a recently released landmark study published online first in December by the medical journal Lancet, the four major studies were compiled into one – a process called meta-analysis. The study found in the more than 70,000 patients who were studied collectively, the NOACs were shown to reduce stroke and systemic embolization by 19 percent and death by 10 percent versus warfarin, significantly decrease intracranial hemorrhage and stroke, and cause less overall bleeding. Thus, despite the risks presented by taking an NOAC, this class of medications has actually dramatically changed the landscape for providers and for patients with atrial fibrillation for the better.
NOACs certainly aren’t perfect. No drug is. But they’ve been rigorously tested prior to their approval by the FDA. In addition, drug companies are devising a new compound that will address some of the potential problems with NOACs–namely, that there’s no way, at this time, to reverse the anticoagulant effects in case of an emergency, such as a sudden need for major surgery, or after a major injury or trauma.
What are your thoughts on NOACs? Do the risks outweigh the benefits?