Direct Oral Anticoagulants: Common Questions Answered





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Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are increasingly encountered in pharmacy practice, for use in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and peripheral artery disease (PAD). As a result, pharmacists are often asked challenging questions regarding the practical management of patients on DOAC therapy. This lesson provides a practical overview to answering these questions, with a focus on 1)The role of DOAC therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), 2)Optimizing DOAC therapy according to key patient characteristics and 3)The pharmacist’s role in assessing, managing, and monitoring patients on DOAC therapy.

This continuing education lesson is designed primarily for pharmacists and has been accredited by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP) for 2 CEU(s). CCCEP File Number: 1066-2019-2892-I-P

  • Francis Richard, BSc(Pharm), Pharm. D.
  • John Papastergiou, BSc, BSc(Pharm)
  • Reginald Smith, BSc(Pharm), Pharm.D.

Upon completion of the module, participants should be able to:

  • Recommend safe, effective, and appropriate use of direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Optimize DOAC therapy and dosage for the management of AF or DVT, based on patient characteristics such as renal function, bleeding risk, age, and weight.
  • Describe strategies for managing anticoagulation peri-operatively in patients undergoing a minor bleeding risk surgery, moderate bleeding risk surgery, or major bleeding risk surgery/procedure.
  • Counsel patients on the safe and appropriate use of DOAC medications to support best outcomes.

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