Patient Care

Edoxaban Is Noninferior to Warfarin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation


Clinical question: What is the long-term efficacy and safety of edoxaban compared with warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation (Afib)?

Background: Edoxaban is an oral factor Xa inhibitor approved for use in Japan for the prevention of venous thromboembolism after orthopedic surgery. No specific antidote for edoxaban exists, but hemostatic agents can reverse its anticoagulation effect.

Study design: RCT.

Setting: More than 1,300 centers in 46 countries.

Synopsis: Researchers randomized 21,105 patients in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive warfarin (goal INR of 2-3), low-dose edoxaban, or high-dose edoxoban. All patients received two sets of drugs, either active warfarin with placebo edoxaban or active edoxaban (high- or low-dose) and placebo warfarin (with sham INRs drawn), and were followed for a median of 2.8 years.

The annualized rate of stroke or systemic embolic event was 1.5% in the warfarin group, compared with 1.18% in the high-dose edoxaban group (hazard ratio 0.79; P<0.001) and 1.61% in the low-dose edoxaban group (hazard ratio 1.07; P=0.005). Annualized rate of major bleeding was 3.43% with warfarin, 2.75% with high-dose edoxoban (hazard ratio 0.80; P<0.001), and 1.61% with low-dose edoxaban (hazard ratio 0.47; P<0.001).

Both edoxaban regimens were noninferior to warfarin for the prevention of stroke or systemic emboli. The rates of cardiovascular events, bleeding, or death from any cause was lower with both doses of edoxaban as compared with warfarin.

Bottom line: Once-daily edoxaban is noninferior to warfarin for the prevention of stroke or systemic emboli and is associated with lower rates of bleeding and death.

Citation: Giugliano RP, Ruff CT, Braunwald E, et al. Edoxaban versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. New Engl J Med. 2013;369(22):2093-2104.

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