What is the goal of long-term anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation (Afib) (AF) and which anticoagulants are approved?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

The goal of long-term anticoagulation in AF is to reduce the risk of thromboembolism. Patients in AF have a risk of stroke or peripheral embolism that is approximately five times that of individuals in sinus rhythm. Recommendations for anticoagulation for patients with nonvalvular AF are based on guidelines from a 2014 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA)/Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) task force on the management of patients with AF. [1] Currently approved anticoagulants include warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban.


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