Check, switch and adjust safely: New decision support tools for oral anticoagulants

26 March 2013

With the expanding choice of oral anticoagulant medicines, NPS MedicineWise has launched a series of clinical decision support tools to help health professionals safely manage their patients who require oral anticoagulation.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Philippa Binns says the decision support tools will assist prescribers whose patients are starting or continuing anticoagulation therapy or who might be switching between different anticoagulant medicines.

“Our new Anticoagulant Safety Checklist is designed to prompt a discussion with patients to achieve safe use and monitoring of oral anticoagulants,” says Dr Binns.

“The new guide Switching oral anticoagulants is a series of tables to assist safe switching between whichever oral anticoagulant your patient is using, while the Dose adjustments for newer anticoagulants guides appropriate dosing for age and renal impairment for the newer oral anticoagulants.

“The collection of evidence and expert consensus-based tools provides a one-stop-shop for health professionals who can find the latest information without having to track down the individual product information for each of the medicines.”

The new decision tools are available on the NPS MedicineWise website:

Caring for patients on oral anticoagulants: Anticoagulant safety checklist:

Switching oral anticoagulants:

Dose adjustments for newer anticoagulants:


A warfarin maintenance tool which will include a dose adjustment algorithm to assist managing high and low INRs will be available in May. In addition, a warfarin patient information leaflet and a warfarin dose tracker, to help patients keep track of their INR results and daily dose, are also being developed and will also be available in May for health professionals to share with their patients.

The new resources are in addition to a range of existing tools to assist health professionals with:

  • Starting oral anticoagulants
  • Stroke risk assessment in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (CHADS2)
  • Further risk stratifying people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are at low risk of stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc)
  • Identifying risk factors for bleeding in people with atrial fibrillation (HAS-BLED)
  • Achieving and maintain INR in the therapeutic range.

For more information for both health professionals and consumers about being medicinewise with anticoagulants, visit


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Media enquiries: Stephanie Childs on 02 8217 8667, 0419 618 365 or or Erin Jardine on 02 8217 8733 or