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Article: Volume 41 Number 6 Page 526 - July/August 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 526-531

Pharmacology:  Dental Implications of New Oral Anticoagulants for Atrial Fibrillation

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Abstract: As dental professionals, we should all be familiar with the most common oral anticoagulant, warfarin, and how to manage our patients that are taking it. However, several new oral anticoagulants which have recently been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are now being prescribed for patients in the United Kingdom. These new oral anticoagulants fall into two different categories: a direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa® Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bracknell, Berkshire) and activated Factor X inhibitors rivaroxaban (Xarelto® Bayer HealthCare, Newbury, Berkshire) and apixaban (Eliquis® Bristol-Myers Squibb, Uxbridge, Middlesex). These new drugs will have potential consequences for how dental practitioners manage patients requiring dental treatment, especially extractions and minor surgical procedures.

Clinical relevance: It is important that dentists are aware of new anticoagulants which are being prescribed for patients to ensure that they receive safe and appropriate dental treatment. As healthcare professionals we should also be aware of how and when to report adverse drug reactions.

Author notes: Claire Curtin, BDS(NUI), MFDS(RCSEd), Dip Con Sed, StR Special Care Dentistry, Cardiff University Dental Schol and Hospital, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XY, Jamie M Hayes, BPharm(Hons) DipClinPharm MBA DipTher, Director, Welsh Medicines Resource Centre and Honorary Senior Lecturer Cardiff University and S Jeremy Hayes, BDS, FDS MRD, MA, Senior Lecturer in Endodontology, Cardiff University Dental School and Hospital, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XY.

Objective: To highlight the relevance of new oral anticoagulant drugs for dentists.