Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and anticoagulation is the cornerstone of treatment. Although effective, traditional anticoagulants (i.e., heparins and vitamin K antagonists) have significant limitations and there are several unmet needs. Therefore, new drugs have been developed, including direct factor Xa inhibitors (e.g., rivaroxaban, apixaban and edoxaban) and thrombin inhibitors (e.g., dabigatran etexilate). The characteristics of these agents and the main results of published clinical studies dealing with VTE treatment are critically summarized in this article.
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