Anticoagulant medicines

Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants are a type of anti-clotting medicine used to prevent harmful blood clots in the body.

Blood clots can cause serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the veins of the legs), pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs), or a stroke (a blood clot in a blood vessel in the brain).

Anticoagulants (e.g warfarin) are sometimes incorrectly called ‘blood thinners’ but they actually work by reducing blood clotting.

Anticoagulants used to prevent blood clots and stroke include:

Find out more about warfarin, dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban, including information about who can take them, what conditions they are used to treat, their side effects, interactions, and what you need to know to take these medicines safely and effectively.

For health professionals  

  • The NPS Medicinewise educational program Oral anticoagulants — achieving good anticoagulant practice focusses on optimal use of warfarin and the newer oral anticoagulants dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban (see program Key messages).
  • Recent NPS RADAR articles have discussed the evidence behind use of:
    dabigatran and rivaroxaban for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in people with non-valvular AF
    dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban for preventing venous thromboembolism after hip or knee replacement surgery
    rivaroxaban for treating deep venous thromboebolism.

Latest information - anticoagulant medicines

Audience:
       

For health professionals (Health professional development)
27 May 2014 This free online course on anticoagulation and atrial fibrillation is for students.
For health professionals (Health professional development)
23 May 2014 This free case study on oral anticoagulants and stroke prevention is for GPs, pharmacists, nurses and students.
For health professionals (Medicine)
08 May 2014 The vitamin K antagonist warfarin and the newer oral anticoagulants dabigatran and rivaroxaban are approved treatments for stroke prevention in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF), but dabigatran and rivaroxaban are not PBS listed for this indication. Read about which people with non-valvular AF need anticoagulation and the role of these different medicines.
For health professionals (Health professional publication)
13 Mar 2014 The vitamin K antagonist warfarin can be used for the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE). The newer oral anticoagulants dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban are all PBS subsidised for the prevention of VTE in patients undergoing total hip replacement or total knee replacement. Rivaroxaban is also PBS subsidised for treatment of acute symptomatic deep vein thrombosis without symptomatic pulmonary embolism and prevention of recurrent VTE. Read about the place in therapy of these medici
(Topic)
06 Feb 2014 Your general heath and medicines can affect your oral health. To help your dentist make the best treatment decisions for you, they will need to know about all the medicines you are taking, and any medical conditions you have.
For health professionals (e-alert for health professionals)
14 Nov 2013 A summary of the latest NPS Health News and Evidence articles written on topical issues. This month: Antibiotic awareness week | Learn about biosimilars | Toxic energy drinks | Ketoconazole discontinued | NEW!: Evidence behind health news | Fast Five: Men's health | Use of statins: appropriate patient selection is key | Online case study for GPs, pharmacists & nurses | Clinical e-Audit - latest advice for GPs about CVD risk assessment | Promoting safe use of oral anticoagulants - for pharmacists
(Media release)
01 Sep 2013 NPS MedicineWise is reiterating safety messages around the newer anticoagulants dabigatran (Pradaxa) and apixaban (Eliquis) following their PBS listing for preventing stroke on 1 September 2013 – and again for rivaxabaran (Xarelto) which was PBS listed in August for the same purpose.
(Media release)
01 Sep 2013 NPS MedicineWise is reiterating safety messages around the newer anticoagulant medicines dabigatran (brand name Pradaxa) and apixaban (Eliquis) with their PBS listing for preventing stroke on 1 September 2013. The safety messages also apply for rivaroxaban (Xarelto) which was PBS-listed last month.
For health professionals (Topic)
30 Aug 2013 Ageing-related physiologic changes influence medicines use in older people by altering pharmacokinetic responses to medicines
For health professionals (Topic)
30 Aug 2013 Tools and resources to help manage medicine use in older, elderly patients.