Thromboembolism is the largest cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world, yet oral anticoagulation is currently available only with vitamin K antagonists - most often, warfarin. Warfarin has been used for treatment of thrombotic disease for about 50 years. However, despite its widespread use, it is associated with several limitations, such as varied patient response, a narrow therapeutic window, numerous drug and food interactions, and need for frequent therapeutic monitoring. In addition, its full anticoagulant effect usually takes at least 4-5 days after the start of therapy or any dosage change, and it has a slow offset of therapy. A new oral anticoagulant, ximelagatran, has considerable advantages compared with warfarin. The agent requires no therapeutic monitoring, has a wide therapeutic window, and is not known to interact with food or drugs. The advantages ximelagatran brings to clinical practice should be a welcome addition to the options for management of thrombotic disease.
- Venous thromboembolic disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)