Direct Oral Anticoagulants for the Management of Thromboembolic Disorders: The Importance of Adherence and Persistence in Achieving Beneficial Outcomes

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2016 Oct;22(7):605-16. doi: 10.1177/1076029615601492. Epub 2015 Aug 27.


Anticoagulation therapy is central to the management of thromboembolic disorders, and the use of direct oral anticoagulants offers several advantages over standard therapy with parenteral heparins and vitamin K antagonists. In phase III clinical trials, the direct oral anticoagulants (given once or twice daily) all demonstrated favorable benefit-risk profiles compared with conventional standard therapy for the treatment and secondary prevention of venous thromboembolism and for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. In clinical practice, many factors may influence overall clinical outcomes in patients receiving anticoagulant therapy, including adherence and persistence to the prescribed therapy, which becomes particularly important during long-term therapy. When choosing an anticoagulant for an individual patient, the pharmacological and clinical profile of the anticoagulant, its dosing regimen, and the patient's clinical characteristics (eg, renal function and comorbidities) and preferences should be considered. This review examines the rationale for and clinical evidence of the selected dosing regimens of the direct oral anticoagulants for the treatment of venous thromboembolism and stroke prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. The potential influence of dosing strategies (eg, once- or twice-daily dosing) and other factors on patient adherence and therapy persistence are also discussed.

Keywords: adherence; atrial fibrillation; direct oral anticoagulant; dosing regimen; persistence; stroke; venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Thromboembolism / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thromboembolism / drug therapy*


  • Anticoagulants