Anticoagulation at the extremes of body weight: choices and dosing

Georgia J B McCaughan, Emmanuel J Favaloro, Leonardo Pasalic, Jennifer Curnow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The landscape of therapeutic anticoagulation has changed dramatically over the past decade, with availability of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), which inhibit factor Xa or thrombin. However, the optimal anticoagulant agent and dosing strategy for patients at both extremes of body weight has not been established for any anticoagulant, including DOACs, vitamin K antagonists (VKA), and the various heparin options. Areas covered: This paper reviews available evidence to assist clinicians in prescribing of anticoagulation therapy at the extremes of body weight. Expert commentary: There are limited data to guide prescribing of all available anticoagulants at the extremes of weight and further research regarding efficacy and safety outcomes in these groups is required. Laboratory monitoring to guide dosing of traditional anticoagulants provides reassurance of 'predictable' efficacy. In contrast agents that are not routinely monitored by laboratory testing provide greater challenges. For example, underweight patients are at risk of receiving higher drug exposures of DOACs, whereas the use of fixed dose DOACs in obese patients may be associated with lower drug exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-828
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Hematology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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