Dabigatran etexilate: A novel oral direct thrombin inhibitor

Blommel, Matthew L.; Blommel, Amy L.
August 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;8/15/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 16, p1506
Academic Journal
Purpose. The pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, tolerability, dosage and administration, and place in therapy of dabigatran etexilate are reviewed. Summary. Dabigatran is a reversible direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI) that has rapid and predictable anticoagulant effects and does not require the anticoagulation monitoring seen with oral vitamin K antagonists. Dabigatran etexilate has demonstrated efficacy in several clinical studies in preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE) for patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement, in preventing strokes in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, and in treating acute VTE. Dabigatran etexilate is a prodrug that is orally absorbed and completely converted to the active form dabigatran by carboxylesterases. Neither the conversion of dabigatran etexilate nor the metabolism of active dabigatran involves the cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme system. Other than hemorrhage, dabigatran is generally well tolerated, with gastrointestinal effects being the most commonly reported adverse events. All dosages should be adjusted in patients with reduced renal function. Dabigatran is currently being investigated for several thromboembolic disorders. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2010 for stroke and VTE prevention in adult patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, and it was approved by the European Medicines Agency in March 2009 for the prevention of VTE in adult patients undergoing elective total hip or knee replacement. Conclusion. Dabigatran etexilate, the first oral DTI marketed in the United States, is indicated to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Dabigatran may be a viable option for anticoagulation in some patients due to its oral administration, rapid onset of action, and predictable anticoagulant effects.


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