Feature Article

NOACs in cardiovascular disease: what is their role?

Jyotsna Janardan, Harry Gibbs



The nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban overcome many of warfarin’s limitations and are available for use for the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation and the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism.

A correction for this article was published in the July 2015 issue of Medicine Today, and the full text PDF for this article (see link above) has been corrected. The term ‘NOACs’ should be defined as ‘nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants’ and the term ‘VKAs’ defined as ’nonvitamin K antagonists’. In Table 4, the dosage information for apixaban has also been corrected.

Key Points

  • NOACs (nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants) are available for a range of indications.
  • They are generally as effective as warfarin in the management of thromboembolism with no increase in harm.
  • They are much easier to use than warfarin due to more predictable pharmacodynamics.
  • NOACs available in Australia are the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and the factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban.

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