A Review on the Use of Reversal Agents of Direct Oral Anticogulant Drugs in Case of Gastrointestinal Bleeding.Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2020 Jun 24 [Online ahead of print]RR
Major bleeding is a life-threatening condition and a medical emergency with high mortality risk. It is often the complication of anticoagulant's intake. Anticoagulants are commonly used for the prevention and the treatment of thrombotic events. The standard therapy with vitamin K antagonist (warfarin) has been frequently replaced by direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). The latter agents (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban, dabigatran, betrixaban) showed a better efficacy and safety compared to standard warfarin treatment and they are recommended for the reduction of ischemic stroke. Literature data reported a high risk of gastrointestinal bleeding with DOACs, in particular with dabigatran and rivaroxaban. In case of life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding, these patients could benefit from the use of reversal agents.
We performed an electronic search on PUBMED of the literature concerning reversal agents for DOACs and gastrointestinal bleeding in the Emergency Department from 2004 to 2020.
This review summarizes the current evidences about three reversal agents idarucizumab, andexanet alfa and ciraparantag, and the use of the first two in the emergency setting in patients with an active major bleeding or who need urgent surgery to offer physicians indications for a better management approach in order to increase patient's safety.
Although these agents have been marketed for five years (idarucizumab) and two years (andexanet alfa) respectively, and despite guidelines considering antidotes as first-line agents in treating life-threatening hemorrhage when available, these antidotes seem to gain access very slowly in the clinical practice. Cost, logistical aspects and need for plasma level determination of DOAC for an accurate therapeutic use probably have an impact on this phenomenon.. An expert multidisciplinary bleeding team should be established so as to implement international guidelines based on local resources and organization.