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 FAQs A-Fib Drug Therapy: Edoxaban NOAC

Drug Therapies for Atrial Fibrillation, A-Fib, Afib

“I”ve read about a new anticoagulant, edoxaban, as an alternative to warfarin (Coumadin) for reducing risk of stroke. For A-Fib patients, how does it compare to warfarin? Should I consider edoxaban instead of the other NOACs?”

Edoxaban (brand names Savaysa® and Lixiana®) was FDA approved in January 2015. It is the fourth novel anticoagulant (NOAC) developed as an alternative to the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). The others are apixaban (Eliquis®), dabigatran (Pradaxa®) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto®).

Because edoxaban is so new, we don’t have much ‘real world’ data and can only look at the data from the clinical trial. Edoxaban is available by prescription in two dosages: 60 mg once daily and 30 mg once daily.

Clinical Data on Edoxaban

Prevention of stroke: The higher dose of edoxaban (60 mg once daily) was as good as and tended to be better than warfarin in preventing stroke. But the lower dose (30 mg once daily) wasn’t as effective as warfarin.

All anticoagulants cause bleeding. That’s how they work.

Stomach bleeding: All anticoagulants cause bleeding. That’s how they work. With the higher dose of edoxaban, bleeding from the stomach was greater than with warfarin. But with the lower dose of edoxaban, bleeding was lower than with warfarin.

Kidney clearance: Edoxaban is 35% cleared by the kidneys (as compared to 25% for apixaban [Eliquis], 33% for rivaroxaban [Xarelto] and 80% for dabigatran [Pradaxa]). This means if your kidneys are working well (creatine clearance greater than 95ml/min), you probably shouldn’t be taking edoxaban, because your kidneys are taking it out of your body too quickly. This puts you at a greater risk of stroke than those patients taking warfarin.

Edoxaban label - Edoxaban marketed as Savaysa in North America

Edoxaban marketed as Savaysa in North America

No Head-To-Head Clinical Tests

Unfortunately, there haven’t been any head-to-head clinical tests comparing edoxaban with the other novel anticoagulants (NOACs). In fact, drug manufacturers have only tested their products against the standard treatment of warfarin (Coumadin).

Safety Data for Edoxaban

Edoxaban is so new we don’t have a real-world safety score yet. But in the clinical trial, stomach bleeding was greater with the higher dose than warfarin. (The lower dose edoxaban is irrelevant because it didn’t work as well as warfarin.)

The Bottom Line for Edoxaban

The limited data about edoxaban in unimpressive. As you know, I’m not a medical doctor. So if you are seeking an alternative to warfarin, talk to your doctor. If I were you, I’d skip edoxaban for now and consider apixaban (Eliquis) instead.

To date, Eliquis is the only novel anticoagulant (NOAC) that can claim that survival improved with its use compared to warfarin. Eliquis was unique in that bleeding from other sites including the stomach, bowels, and bladder was less. Eliquis earned the best safety score from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System compared to Pradaxa, Xarelto and warfarin. (See Warfarin vs. Pradaxa and the Other New Anticoagulants.)

Return to FAQ Drug Therapies
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018

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