Background: Due to lack of data, direct oral anticoagulants are not considered by guidelines for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis after cancer surgery. Adherence to low-molecular-weight heparin injections in this setting is sometimes poor.
Aim: Analysis of adherence to oral apixaban for extended thromboprophylaxis.
Methods: Consecutive patients discharged after major surgery for abdominal/pelvic cancer and considered eligible for extended prophylaxis were offered apixaban 2.5 mg twice daily. Primary outcomes were adherence metrics-proportion of prescriptions filled, persistence (not prematurely discontinued), proportion of days covered (PDC) based on apixaban pill counts, and modified Morisky medication adherence scale at Days 28-30. Secondary outcomes were bleeding, VTE, and serious adverse events until Day 90.
Results: We included 53 patients, 51 were analyzed. Of 45 patients with prescriptions all had it filled (95% confidence interval [CI], 92%-100%). Persistence was 98% (95% CI, 90%-100%). PDC was ≥80% for 48 patients (94%; 95% CI, 84%-99%). We found good adherence (0/6 answers "yes") in 75% and moderate (1/6 answers "yes") in 25%. No major bleed or VTE occurred while on apixaban.
Conclusion: Our results support good adherence with apixaban for VTE prophylaxis up to 28 days after major abdominal or pelvic cancer surgery.
Keywords: apixaban; medication adherence; neoplasms; patient discharge; venous thromboembolism.
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