Appropriateness of direct oral anticoagulant dosing for venous thromboembolism treatment

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2017 May;43(4):505-513. doi: 10.1007/s11239-017-1487-z.


Adherence to FDA-approved dosing for the direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) based on renal function, hepatic function, and concomitant medications in a real-world setting has not been evaluated. The purpose of this retrospective cohort analysis was to determine the prescribing accuracy of DOAC dosing for venous thromboembolism (VTE) treatment compared with enoxaparin. The secondary outcomes were to describe the incidence of in-hospital VTE recurrence and bleeding on DOAC therapy. The study included 168 patients with 261 admissions for the DOAC group and 639 patients with 841 admissions for the enoxaparin group. Dosing was appropriate in 235/261 (90.0%) of patient admissions in the DOAC group. Among the DOAC doses administered, 233/2246 (10.4%) were contraindicated based on renal function, hepatic function, or drug interactions compared with 322/7293 (4.4%) of administered enoxaparin doses evaluated based on renal function, p < 0.001. Three recurrent VTEs, 3 major bleeding events, 1 probable major bleeding event, and 3 clinically relevant non-major bleeding events were observed during the study period. Although a majority of DOAC doses administered were appropriate, further education and close monitoring of these agents are warranted to increase appropriateness of therapy and improve patient safety.

Keywords: Direct oral anticoagulants; Dosing; Enoxaparin; Venous thromboembolism.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Enoxaparin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Liver / physiology
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Venous Thromboembolism / drug therapy*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin