Anticoagulant therapy in the elderly

Authors: Debora Karetová 1;  Jan Bultas 2
Authors‘ workplace: II. interní klinika – klinika kardiologie a angiologie 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 1;  Farmakologický ústav 3. LF UK, Praha 2
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2018; 64(11): 1011-1020


Elderly and fragile patients have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation, a higher risk of systemic embolism. They are therefore often candidates for long-term anticoagulation medication. At the same time, they have an increased risk of bleeding due to age and co-morbidities, which anticoagulation therapy necessarily potentiates. New Oral Direct Anticoagulants (NOAC) registered in the Czech Republic – dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban or edoxaban – are a good alternative to the currently dominant warfarin in many of these indications. Their great advantage is that they do not need to be regularly monitored on a laboratory basis and are considered to be safer, especially to significant reduction of the risk of intracranial haemorrhage. Each drug in the group of direct oral anticoagulants has some specificity resulting from pharmacological properties or the results of registration studies, so it is possible to individually determine an optimal anticoagulation strategy. Older, respectively fragile patients are characterized by reduced body weight, limited renal function, and multiple comorbidities (associated with many co-medications). For a number of seniors, it is advantageous to use a reduced dose of these drugs. Consideration of benefit and risk is often complicated in elderly patients, but this should be repeatedly done during the therapy.

Key words:

anticoagulation therapy – apixaban – dabigatran – edoxaban – fragile patient – geriatrics – rivaroxaban

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Diabetology Endocrinology Internal medicine

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