Apixaban: a new option for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation?

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Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and its prevalence is set to double by 2050. Of the possible treatments for the condition, only antithrombotic therapy has demonstrated a mortality benefit. Until recently, the gold-standard treatment was warfarin; in those patients for whom this was contraindicated, aspirin was used. However, over the last two years, several new agents have been developed, the most recent of which is the factor Xa inhibitor apixaban (Eliquis). Two large randomised controlled trials comparing apixaban with aspirin and warfarin were recently reported. This Drug profile outlines the significant benefits of apixaban in reducing mortality, stroke risk and major bleeding events in atrial fibrillation.

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