NICE backs new oral anticoagulant for stroke prevention

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 16 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2111
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended the oral anticoagulant dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa) for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation. The appraisal committee said the drug is a useful alternative to the current standard treatment, warfarin, as it does not require regular blood tests to monitor treatment.

The committee concluded that dabigatran 150 mg twice daily was more clinically effective than warfarin in reducing the risk of stroke or systemic embolism, ischaemic stroke, and vascular mortality and that this represented an important development for people with atrial fibrillation. It also concluded that a lower dose of 110 mg twice daily is as effective as warfarin. The committee said both doses of dabigatran were associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction compared with …

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