Skip to Main Content

Content Update

May 16, 2018

Anticoagulation in Older Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and Chronic Kidney Disease: A retrospective propensity-matched cohort study in the UK evaluated the safety and effectiveness of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in older patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) after being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF). Compared to matched controls, patients receiving anticoagulation were more likely to experience ischemic stroke and cerebral or GI hemorrhage but had lower all-cause mortality. Although anticoagulants may improve all-cause mortality in these patients, additional trials are needed to determine the effect of anticoagulation on stroke risk. Anticoagulant use should be based on assessment of individual bleeding and thromboembolic risks and benefits, along with consideration of patient preferences.

Content Update

October 10, 2017

Pharmacokinetic Considerations for Apixaban Use in End-Stage Renal Disease: There is little data about use of the direct-acting oral anticoagulant (DOAC) apixaban in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Recommended apixaban dosing in patients with normal kidney function is 5 mg twice daily; 2.5 mg twice daily is recommended in patients with at least two of these characteristics: age ≥80 years old, weight ≤60 kg, and serum creatinine ≥1.5 mg/dL. A recent cohort study of apixaban steady-state pharmacokinetic data in ESRD patients receiving hemodialysis found that apixaban 2.5 mg twice daily leads to systemic drug exposure comparable to the standard dose (5 mg twice daily) in patients with normal kidney function. In addition, apixaban 5 mg twice daily resulted in supratherapeutic concentrations in ESRD patients and should be avoided.


For the chapter in the Wells Handbook, please go to Chapter 6. Arrhythmias.



  • image The use of antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) in the United States has declined because of major trials that show increased mortality with their use in several clinical situations, the realization of proarrhythmia as a significant side effect, and the advancing technology of nonpharmacologic therapies such as ablation and the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

  • image AADs frequently cause side effects and are complex in their pharmacokinetic characteristics. Close monitoring is required of all of these drugs to assess for adverse effects as well as potential drug interactions.

  • image The most commonly prescribed AAD is now amiodarone. This drug is effective in terminating and preventing a wide variety of symptomatic supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias. However, because this AAD is plagued by frequent side effects, it requires close monitoring. The most concerning toxicity is pulmonary fibrosis; side effect profiles of the intravenous (IV) (acute, short-term) and oral (chronic, long-term) forms of amiodarone differ substantially.

  • image In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), therapy is traditionally aimed at controlling ventricular rate (digoxin, nondihydropyridine (non-DHP) calcium channel blockers (CCBs), β-blockers), preventing thromboembolic (TE) complications (warfarin, aspirin), and restoring and maintaining sinus rhythm (SR) (AADs, direct current cardioversion). Studies show there is no need to aggressively pursue strategies to maintain SR (ie, ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.