Dabigatran Use Up, But Not Just For Afib

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 4:41am
Chris Kaiser

Dabigatran, the first FDA-approved oral anticoagulant for stroke reduction in atrial fibrillation (Afib) since warfarin, has been widely adopted in the U.S., but is increasingly being used off label, researchers found.

Dabigatran (Pradaxa) use increased from 0.062 million quarterly visits to 0.363 million quarterly visits, which reflected its growing share of oral anticoagulant visits since the fourth quarter of 2010 to the last quarter of 2011 (3.1 percent to 18.9 percent), reported G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues.

In addition, although most of dabigatran visits have been for Afib, this proportion dropped from 92 percent to 63 percent, as the drug has increasingly been used for off-label purposes including venous thromboembolism (VTE) and coronary artery disease, according to the study published online inCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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