Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are a new class of anticoagulants that directly inhibit either thrombin or factor Xa in the coagulation cascade. They are being increasingly used instead of warfarin or other vitamin K antagonists (VKAs). Adverse side effects of DOACs may result in hemorrhagic complications, including life-threatening intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), though to a much lesser degree than VKAs. Currently there are relatively limited indications for DOACS but their usage is certain to expand with the availability of their respective specific reversal agents. Currently, only idarucizumab (antidote for dabigatran) has been United States Food and Drug Administration- (FDA-) approved, but others (andexanet-α and ciraparantag) may be approved in near future, and the development and availability of such reversal agents have the potential to dramatically change the current anticoagulant use by providing reversal of multiple oral anticoagulants. Until all the DOACs have FDA-approved reversal agents, the treatment of the dreaded side effects of bleeding is challenging. This article is an attempt to provide an overview of the management of hemorrhage, especially ICH, related to DOAC use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine