Anticoagulants are a cornerstone of treatment in atrial fibrillation. Nowadays, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are extensively used for this condition in developed countries. However, DOAC treatment may be inappropriate in certain patient populations, such as: patients with chronic kidney disease in whom DOAC concentrations may be dangerously elevated; frail elderly patients with an increased risk of falls; patients with significant drug–drug interactions (DDI) affecting either DOAC concentration or effect; patients at the extremes of body mass in whom an “abnormal” volume of distribution may result in inappropriate drug concentrations; patients with recurrent stroke reflecting an unusually high thromboembolic tendency; and, lastly, patients who experience major hemorrhage on an anticoagulant and in whom continued anticoagulation is deemed necessary. Herein we provide a fictional case-based approach to review the recommendations for the use of DOACs in these special patient populations.
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© 2023 by the authors.
- atrial fibrillation
- direct oral anticoagulants
- special populations