The non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) do not require routine anticoagulation monitoring and have fewer food and drug interactions than warfarin does.4
However, patients taking a NOAC need to have their kidney function to be monitored throughout treatment.5 Kidney function should be checked at least annually, and whenever clinical circumstances or medicines change. If patients have impaired kidney function, monitoring should be more frequent.
It is still also essential to check for potentially harmful drug interactions, contraindications and other patient-related safety factors (such as persistent hypertension, risk of falls, anaemia, and patient adherence) before commencing a NOAC.5
Key questions to consider in patients taking a NOAC include:5
- Were kidney and liver function assessed when the patient started their NOAC?
- Has kidney function been checked in the last year?
- Have clinical circumstances or medicines changed?
- Has kidney function deteriorated, requiring more frequent monitoring?
For related information summaries, see NOAC indications and PBS listings and NOAC metabolism and interactions.