WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are shown to be safe and effective alternatives to vitamin K antagonists in appropriately selected patients, despite a lack of specific antidotes.
- For most bleeding events, expert opinion suggests that cessation of the DOAC and supportive care will likely be sufficient.
- Currently, only one specific antidote, idarucizumab, is licensed for use and is indicated to reverse dabigatran in patients with life threatening haemorrhage or need for urgent surgery.
Burnett A, Siegal D, Crowther M. BMJ 2017;357:j2216.