Oral anticoagulants and atrial fibrillation: A South African perspective

  • DJ Laäs
  • M Naidoo

Abstract

This review evaluates the current literature on available oral anticoagulants and atrial fibrillation with specific relevance to the South African (SA) public healthcare sector, focusing on the pharmacology and monitoring of anticoagulants, current guidelines, initiation of treatment and risk stratification, effectiveness of treatment, cost-effectiveness and specific costing implications. The direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are superior to warfarin, with dabigatran being the preferred treatment option in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Warfarin is still the preferred anticoagulant in patients with renal failure and prosthetic heart valves and is still the most costeffective anticoagulant in the SA public sector setting. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the advantages of DOACs over warfarin in NVAF. Warfarin will remain the anticoagulant of choice until cheaper generic DOACs become available.

S Afr Med J 2018;108(8):640-646.

Author Biographies

DJ Laäs
Discipline of Family Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
M Naidoo
Discipline of Family Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Published
2018-10-12
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135