New Blood Thinner Options

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Warfarin vs. NOAC

Are you curious about these new blood thinners you’re seeing all over television and print ads?  There is a great article on the American Heart Association website that details each type of medication, but here is a summary:

  • Warfarin: A decades old blood thinner that decreases production of several clotting factors that rely on vitamin K.
    • Slow acting and often requires the use of injectable medications until blood levels get to therapeutic range.
    • Dose varies, dependent on many factors.
    • Multiple good and drug interactions.
    • Frequent laboratory testing to maintain blood levels.
    • Long lasting effect with available reversible agent.
    • Low cost.
  • NOAC (Novel Oral Anticoagulant): A newer group of medications that target individual clotting proteins.
    • Fast acting medication.
    • Fixed dosing.
    • Few food and drug interactions.
    • No laboratory testing.
    • Short duration of medication in system, so taking medication consistently is crucial.
    • Higher cost than Warfarin.
Features of Warfarin Versus NOACs
Warfarin NOACs
Onset of action Slow Rapid
Dosing Variable Fixed
Food interactions Yes No
Drug interactions Many Few
Routine laboratory monitoring Yes No
Duration of blood-thinning effect Long Short
Reversal agent available Yes No
Cost $ $$$

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