Combined administration of antibiotics and direct oral anticoagulants: a renewed indication for laboratory monitoring?

Giuseppe Lippi, Emmanuel J Favaloro, Camilla Mattiuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent development and marketing of novel direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) represents a paradigm shift in the management of patients requiring long-term anticoagulation. The advantages of these compounds over traditional therapy with vitamin K antagonists include a reportedly lower risk of severe hemorrhages and the limited need for laboratory measurements. However, there are several scenarios in which testing should be applied. The potential for drug-to-drug interaction is one plausible but currently underrecognized indication for laboratory assessment of the anticoagulant effect of DOACs. In particular, substantial concern has been raised during Phase I studies regarding the potential interaction of these drugs with some antibiotics, especially those that interplay with permeability glycoprotein (P-gp) and cytochrome 3A4 (CYP3A4). A specific electronic search on clinical trials published so far confirms that clarithromycin and rifampicin significantly impair the bioavailability of dabigatran, whereas clarithromycin, erythromycin, fluconazole, and ketoconazole alter the metabolism of rivaroxaban in vivo. Because of their more recent development, no published data were found for apixaban and edoxaban, or for potential interactions of DOACs with other and widely used antibiotics. It is noteworthy, however, that an online resource based on Food and Drug Administration and social media information, reports several hemorrhagic and thrombotic events in patients simultaneously taking dabigatran and some commonly used antibiotics such as amoxicillin, cephalosporin, and metronidazole. According to these reports, the administration of antibiotics in patients undergoing therapy with DOACs would seem to require accurate evaluation as to whether dose adjustments (personalized or antibiotic class driven) of the anticoagulant drug may be advisable. This might be facilitated by direct laboratory assessments of their anticoagulant effect ex vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-65
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

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