PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Warfarin has been the sole oral anticoagulant used in the management of thromboembolic disorders for over 60 years. Target-specific oral anticoagulants (TSOAs) have recently emerged as alternatives to warfarin, because they do not require laboratory monitoring. Nevertheless, with the rising use of TSOAs, there is growing concern among clinicians regarding management of bleeding in patients taking them. Unlike warfarin, there is no antidote or reversal agent for TSOAs. This review summarizes recent developments and attempts to provide a systematic approach to patients on TSOAs presenting with bleeding complications. RECENT FINDINGS: Currently, data involving clinical management of TSOAs are limited and primarily based on ex-vivo or animal models using hemostatic agents with uncertain implications in bleeding patients. There is a pressing need for randomized clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of hemostatic agents. SUMMARY: Without evidence-based guidelines for TSOA management, appropriate patient care requires an understanding of TSOA pharmacology, their effect on coagulation tests and, hence, a correct interpretation of test results, as well as a systematic approach to bleeding complications.
- oral anticoagulants
- prothrombin complex concentrate
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