Management of venous thromboembolism with non–vitamin K oral anticoagulants: A review for nurse practitioners and pharmacists

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Abstract

Background and purpose:

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), comprising deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Non–vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs), including apixaban, betrixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban, are as effective and safe as vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) for primary prophylaxis, treatment, and/or secondary prevention of VTE and present significant advantages in convenience of use. This review provides guidance to nurse practitioners (NPs) and pharmacists on NOAC usage for the management of VTE and examines how traditional anticoagulation clinics can adapt to cater to patients on NOACs.

Methods:

A review of the scientific literature pertaining to treatment guideline recommendations, large randomized clinical trials, and real-world evidence studies related to VTE management was conducted.

Conclusions:

With current data suggesting that NOACs may present as better alternatives over VKAs for the management of VTE, comprehensively educating NPs and pharmacists can help incorporate these agents in their clinical practice.

Implications for practice:

Repurposing anticoagulation clinics, led by well-informed NPs and pharmacists, will allow effective integration and optimal management of patients with VTE taking NOACs as well as those taking VKAs.

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