Background: A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the risk of major bleeding with the use of New Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs).
Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing NOACs (rivaroxaban, dabigatran, apixaban, edoxaban and darexaban) with comparators were selected.
Results: Fifty trials included 155,537 patients. Pooled analysis of all NOACs for all indications together demonstrated no significant difference between NOACs and comparators for risk of major bleeding (odds ratio [OR] 0.93, 95% CI 0.79-1.09). Pooled analysis also showed that NOACs caused significantly less major bleeding compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKA) (0.77, 0.64-0.91). The analysis for individual NOACs showed risk of major bleeding were not different with rivaroxaban, apixaban or dabigatran compared to pharmacologically active comparators or VKA. Indication specific analysis showed that NOACs were associated with significantly higher major bleeding after hip surgery (1.43, 1.02-1.99), in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), (compared against placebo) (2.89, 2.01-4.14), and for medically ill patients (2.79, 1.69-4.60). For the treatment of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) or pulmonary embolism (PE), NOACs were associated with significantly less bleeding (0.63, 0.44-0.90). No significant difference was found between NOACs and comparators in treatment of atrial fibrillation and for extended treatment of VTE.
Conclusions: Risk of major bleeding with new oral anticoagulants varies with their indication for use. New agents may be associated with comparatively less major bleeding compared to VKA. NOAC may increase the risk of major bleeding after hip surgery, ACS and acute medically ill patients; but may be associated with less bleeding in treatment of acute VTE/PE.
Keywords: Apixaban; Bleeding; Dabigatran; Meta-analysis; New oral anticoagulants; Rivaroxaban.
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