Apixaban in patients with atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med

Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 02/2011; 364(9):806-17. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1007432
Source: PubMed


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.).

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    • "Apixaban Versus Acetylsalicylic Acid to Prevent Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation patients Who Have Failed or Are Unsuitable for Vitamin K Antagonist Treatment [AVERROES] [54] "
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    ABSTRACT: To critically appraise published network meta-analyses (NMAs) evaluating the efficacy or safety of the new oral anticogulants (NOACs) dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban for the prevention of stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF). A systematic literature review was performed to identify the relevant NMAs using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, and Health Technology Assessment. The synthesis studies were evaluated using the "Questionnaire to assess the relevance and credibility of the NMA." Eleven NMAs evaluating NOACs among adults with nonvalvular AF were identified. Most NMAs included three large phase III randomized controlled trials, comparing NOACs to adjusted-dose warfarin (Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy [RE-LY], Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared With Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism Trial in Atrial Fibrillation [ROCKET-AF], and Apixaban for Reduction of Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation [ARISTOTLE]). The main differences identified related to potential treatment effect modifiers regarding the mean time spent in therapeutic range (TTR) in the warfarin arm, the risk of stroke or systemic embolism across the trials (mean CHADS2 score: C = congestive heart failure, H = hypertension, A = older than age 75 years, D = diabetes mellitus, S2 = prior stroke or history of transient ischemic attack) or primary versus secondary prevention, and type of populations used in the analysis. Kansal et al. [Kansal AR, Sharma M, Bradley-Kennedy C, et al. Dabigatran versus rivaroxaban for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in atrial fibrillation in Canada: comparative efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Thromb Haemost 2012;108:672-82] appropriately adjusted the ROCKET-AF TTR to match the RE-LY population on the basis of individual patient data. Meta-regressions are not expected to minimize confounding bias given limited data, whereas subgroup analyses had some impact on the point estimates for the treatment comparisons. Results of the synthesis studies were generally comparable and suggested that the NOACs had similar efficacy, although some differences were identified depending on the outcome. The extent to which differences in the distribution of TTR, CHADS2 score, or primary versus secondary prevention biased the results remains unclear. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Value in Health
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    • "At the same time, DOAC therapy offers a larger risk reduction for recurrent VTE. These results are consistent with the similar bleeding risk seen in patients receiving apixaban compared to aspirin in a clinical trial for stroke prevention in the context of atrial fibrillation [40]. While ASA may have had a role in patients deemed inappropriate for VKA therapy secondary to higher bleeding risk but still requiring antithrombotic therapy for higher thrombotic risk, these lower rates of major and fatal bleeding on DOAC therapy suggest DOACs may be superior to ASA, with comparable safety and superior efficacy, for this clinical situation. "
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    ABSTRACT: The duration of anticoagulation after venous thromboembolic events (VTE) is based on the balance between the risk of recurrent VTE and bleeding. The purpose of this study was to estimate the frequency and case-fatality rate of major bleeding and recurrent VTE during secondary prevention of VTE. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched through September 2014. Two reviewers independently screened citations to identify trials that enrolled patients for secondary prevention of VTE with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), aspirin or placebo. Two reviewers independently extracted data onto standardized forms. Twelve RCTs that enrolled 10,542 patients were included. The rate of major bleeding was 1.6 per 100 patient-years (95% CI, 1.2-2.1), and 0.58 per 100 patient-years (95% CI, 0.24-1.1) on VKAs and DOACs, respectively, with an incidence rate ratio of 0.35 (95% CI, 0.17-0.68, p=0.0023). The case-fatality rates for DOACs and VKAs were not significantly different at 0% (95% CI, 0.0-15.4) and 6.8% (95% CI, 1.4-18.6), respectively. The rate of recurrent VTE was not different between DOACs and VKA, IRR 0.88 (95% CI, 0.15-4.8, p=0.88). Case-fatality rates for recurrent VTE for DOAC and VKAs were 10.8% (95% CI, 4.4-20.9) and 5.6% (95% CI, 1.2-15.4), respectively. Only DOACs showed a significant reduction in the composite outcome of fatal recurrent VTE and fatal bleeding when compared to placebo, IRR 0.40 (95% CI, 0.14-1.0, p=0.03). Case-fatality rates for major bleeding and recurrent VTE for DOACs appear to be similar to those for VKA and the composite of fatal events is lower for DOACs than placebo. Overall, given the favorable safety profile and comparable efficacy of DOAC therapy, the threshold to continue anticoagulation with DOACs after unprovoked VTE should be low if the baseline risk of anticoagulation-related bleeding is not high. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Thrombosis Research
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    • "Identifier, NCT00496769]) non-valvular AF patients with a high risk of stroke [11], [15]. In the AVERROES trial, apixaban was shown to prevent more stroke or SE events with no significant difference in the incidence of major bleedings (MBs) or intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs) compared to acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) [15]. Similarly, in the ARISTOTLE trial, less stroke or SE events, less MBs and less fatal events related to any cause were observed in the treatment with apixaban when compared to the treatment with VKA [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundStroke prevention is the main goal of treating patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Vitamin-K antagonists (VKAs) present an effective treatment in stroke prevention, however, the risk of bleeding and the requirement for regular coagulation monitoring are limiting their use. Apixaban is a novel oral anticoagulant associated with significantly lower hazard rates for stroke, major bleedings and treatment discontinuations, compared to VKAs.ObjectiveTo estimate the cost-effectiveness of apixaban compared to VKAs in non-valvular AF patients in the Netherlands.MethodsPreviously published lifetime Markov model using efficacy data from the ARISTOTLE and the AVERROES trial was modified to reflect the use of oral anticoagulants in the Netherlands. Dutch specific costs, baseline population stroke risk and coagulation monitoring levels were incorporated. Univariate, probabilistic sensitivity and scenario analyses on the impact of different coagulation monitoring levels were performed on the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).ResultsTreatment with apixaban compared to VKAs resulted in an ICER of €10,576 per quality adjusted life year (QALY). Those findings correspond with lower number of strokes and bleedings associated with the use of apixaban compared to VKAs. Univariate sensitivity analyses revealed model sensitivity to the absolute stroke risk with apixaban and treatment discontinuations risks with apixaban and VKAs. The probability that apixaban is cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €20,000/QALY was 68%. Results of the scenario analyses on the impact of different coagulation monitoring levels were quite robust.ConclusionsIn patients with non-valvular AF, apixaban is likely to be a cost-effective alternative to VKAs in the Netherlands.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE
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