Apixaban in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 51.66). 02/2011; 364(9):806-17. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1007432
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Vitamin K antagonists have been shown to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, many patients are not suitable candidates for or are unwilling to receive vitamin K antagonist therapy, and these patients have a high risk of stroke. Apixaban, a novel factor Xa inhibitor, may be an alternative treatment for such patients.
In a double-blind study, we randomly assigned 5599 patients with atrial fibrillation who were at increased risk for stroke and for whom vitamin K antagonist therapy was unsuitable to receive apixaban (at a dose of 5 mg twice daily) or aspirin (81 to 324 mg per day), to determine whether apixaban was superior. The mean follow up period was 1.1 years. The primary outcome was the occurrence of stroke or systemic embolism.
Before enrollment, 40% of the patients had used a vitamin K antagonist. The data and safety monitoring board recommended early termination of the study because of a clear benefit in favor of apixaban. There were 51 primary outcome events (1.6% per year) among patients assigned to apixaban and 113 (3.7% per year) among those assigned to aspirin (hazard ratio with apixaban, 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 0.62; P<0.001). The rates of death were 3.5% per year in the apixaban group and 4.4% per year in the aspirin group (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.02; P=0.07). There were 44 cases of major bleeding (1.4% per year) in the apixaban group and 39 (1.2% per year) in the aspirin group (hazard ratio with apixaban, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.75; P=0.57); there were 11 cases of intracranial bleeding with apixaban and 13 with aspirin. The risk of a first hospitalization for cardiovascular causes was reduced with apixaban as compared with aspirin (12.6% per year vs. 15.9% per year, P<0.001). The treatment effects were consistent among important subgroups.
In patients with atrial fibrillation for whom vitamin K antagonist therapy was unsuitable, apixaban reduced the risk of stroke or systemic embolism without significantly increasing the risk of major bleeding or intracranial hemorrhage. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer; number, NCT00496769.).

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Edoxaban is a once-daily oral anticoagulant that rapidly and selectively inhibits factor Xa in a concentration-dependent manner. This review describes the extensive clinical development program of edoxaban, including phase III studies in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) and symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE). The ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 study (N = 21,105; mean CHADS2 score 2.8) compared edoxaban 60 mg once daily (high-dose regimen) and edoxaban 30 mg once daily (low-dose regimen) with dose-adjusted warfarin [international normalized ratio (INR) 2.0-3.0] and found that both regimens were non-inferior to warfarin in the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with NVAF. Both edoxaban regimens also provided significant reductions in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, cardiovascular mortality, major bleeding and intracranial bleeding. The Hokusai-VTE study (N = 8,292) in patients with symptomatic VTE had a flexible treatment duration of 3-12 months and found that following initial heparin, edoxaban 60 mg once daily was non-inferior to dose-adjusted warfarin (INR 2.0-3.0) for the prevention of recurrent VTE, and also had a significantly lower risk of bleeding events. Both studies randomized patients at moderate-to-high risk of thromboembolic events and were further designed to simulate routine clinical practice as much as possible, with edoxaban dose reduction (halving dose) at randomisation or during the study if required, a frequently monitored and well-controlled warfarin group, a well-monitored transition period at study end and a flexible treatment duration in Hokusai-VTE. Given the phase III results obtained, once-daily edoxaban may soon be a key addition to the range of antithrombotic treatment options.
    Drugs. 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia that can potentially result in stroke. Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) like warfarin were for many decades the only oral anticoagulants available for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) at high risk of stroke. Recently, new oral anticoagulants (NOACS) have been introduced that act via direct inhibition of thrombin (dabigatran) or activated factor X (edoxaban, rivaroxaban and apixaban). Unlike VKAs, these anticoagulants do not require routine INR monitoring and posses favorable pharmacological properties. NOACs act rapidly, and have a stable and predictable dose-related anticoagulant effect with few clinically relevant drug-drug interactions. Phase III trials comparing these agents to warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular AF demonstrated that they are at least as efficacious and safe as warfarin. Evolution of clinical guidelines to incorporate the new anticoagulants for stroke prevention in non-valvular AF may result in a reduction in the incidence of AF-related strokes. Safe and effective use of these new drugs in clinical practice requires understanding of their distinct pharmacological properties.
    Cardiovascular drugs and therapy / sponsored by the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. 05/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) is effective. Pivotal trials RE-LY, ROCKET AF, ARISTOTLE, and ENGAGE-AF TIMI 48 tested novel agents against warfarin (W). In RE-LY, an open-label trial, dabigatran 150 mg BID (D150) was superior (35 %) and 110 mg BID (D110) was noninferior to W. D150 reduced ischemic strokes by 25 % and intracerebral bleeds by 74 %, but increased major GI bleeds by 0.5 % per year. In ROCKET AF, a double-blind study, rivaroxaban 20 mg daily, downtitrated to 15 mg daily (if CrCl was <49) was noninferior for efficacy and safety, with an increase in GI bleeds. In ARISTOTLE, a double-blind study, apixaban 5 mg BID (downtitrated to 2.5 mg BID if two of the following were present: age, >80; weight, <60 kg; or serum creatinine, >1.5 mg) was superior for safety (31 %), efficacy (21 %), and all-cause mortality (11 %). In ENGAGE-AF TIMI 48, edoxaban 60 mg once daily (30 mg once daily if CrCl 30-50 ml/min, weight <60 kg, or concomitant verapamil or quinidine) was noninferior to W for efficacy, but reduced major bleeding (20 %). To translate clinical trials to practice, understanding the disease and each anticoagulant is essential. For all novel agents, rapid anticoagulation, absence of monitoring, and a short half-life differentiate them from W. Bleed rates were either noninferior or lower than for W, without an antidote. Patient compliance is critical. Knowledge of renal function is essential and maintaining patients on therapy is key.
    Journal of interventional cardiac electrophysiology : an international journal of arrhythmias and pacing. 06/2014;

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 17, 2014