Anticoagulation Myth Busters

There are many common misconceptions associated with anticoagulation. Click on the myth below to find out more.

NOTE: In these pages the term NOAC is used to indicate a non-vitamin K oral anticoagulant – since this is the acronym used in the ESC/EHRA guidelines. This could also be described as an OAC meaning Oral anticoagulation, or DOAC meaning Direct Oral Anticoagulant. The term NOAC should not be understood to mean ‘No Anticoagulation’.

MYTH

“Aspirin is a suitable alternative to OAC for stroke prevention, particularly for older patients at increased risk of a bleeding event”

MYTH

“Aspirin should always be continued with an oral anticoagulant if a patient has cardiovascular disease”

MYTH

“Oral anticoagulation should be avoided in frail older adults and/or those an increased risk of a fall”

MYTH

“Unlike warfarin, NOACs do not interact with other medications”

MYTH

“NOACs cannot be reversed and are therefore unsafe”

MYTH

“My patient is renally impaired, they cannot have an OAC”

MYTH

“My newly diagnosed AF patient is already on a NOAC for thromboprophylaxis following joint replacement, they are therefore also adequately anticoagulated for their AF”

MYTH

“I don’t need to monitor my patient’s bloods when they are on a NOAC”

MYTH

“My patient is unable to swallow and therefore cannot have a NOAC”

MYTH

“I need to give heparin to my patients with AF (bridging), when they are not taking warfarin or NOACs”

MYTH

“NOACs, like warfarin,
can interact with food”

MYTH

“OAC should be avoided at the extremes of bodyweight”

MYTH

“Patients with any form of valve disease are not suitable for NOACs”

MYTH

“If I reduce the NOAC dose prescribed, I can reduce the likelihood of a bleeding complication”

MYTH

“All patients must stop anticoagulant agents prior to dental procedures”

NAZISH KHAN
Principal Pharmacist, Cardiac Services The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust/Clinical Advisor WMAHSN AF Programme

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