Oral Apixaban for the Treatment of Acute Venous Thromboembolism

SUMMARY: Apixaban (ELIQUIS®) is an oral, direct coagulation factor Xa inhibitor, similar to XARELTO® (Rivaroxaban). In this double blind study, ELIQUIS® was compared with conventional therapy, which included subcutaneous Enoxaparin (LOVENOX®) followed by Warfarin. Five thousand three hundred ninety five (5395) patients with acute deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or both, were randomly assigned to receive either ELIQUIS® 10 mg BID for one week followed by 5 mg BID for 6 months (n=2691) or conventional therapy with LOVENOX® followed by Warfarin (n=2704). The primary efficacy outcome was recurrent symptomatic venous thromboembolism or death, related to venous thromboembolism. ELIQUIS® was non inferior to conventional therapy (P<0.001). The risk of major bleeding was slightly lower in the ELIQUIS® group. This efficacy and safety of ELIQUIS® was demonstrable in all patient subgroups. ELIQUIS®, similar to XARELTO®, will very likely be approved for the treatment of Venous ThromboEmbolism. Unlike Vitamin K antagonists (Warfarin), the newer oral anticoagulants do not require coagulation monitoring as they have a rapid onset of action, relatively stable pharmacokinetics and are not associated with significant drug interactions. It is important to realize however, that there are no agents presently available to reverse bleeding associated with these new oral anticoagulants. Development of antidotes that bind to factor Xa inhibitors, in order to reverse bleeding complications, are underway. Agnelli G, Buller HR, Cohen A, et al. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:799-808