A nurse’s guide to direct oral anticoagulants
evidence and practice    

A nurse’s guide to direct oral anticoagulants

Emma Gee Nurse consultant in thrombosis and coagulation, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, England
Gabrielle Saul Clinical nurse specialist, Haematology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the properties of the four direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) currently licensed for use in the UK

  • To enhance your knowledge of the indications for each DOAC

  • To enable you to recognise the side effects and risk of bleeding associated with each DOAC

Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have provided a practical alternative to warfarin sodium and low molecular weight heparin for people requiring anticoagulation. Their advantages include a more predictable clinical effect than warfarin, with no requirement for routine monitoring, regular fixed doses, no food or drink interactions and few drug interactions. Nurses have an important role in ensuring the safe use and administration of medicines. As the use of anticoagulants advances and they are used in a variety of conditions, nurses need to ensure their knowledge of these medicines is up to date to provide safe and informed care. This article provides an overview of the DOACs currently licensed for use in the UK, including their indications, doses, side effects and other considerations.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11558

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

egee@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

Emma Gee has received speaker honoraria from Bayer, but they have had no input into this article * On 1 April 2016 the statutory patient safety functions previously delivered by NHS England transferred with the national patient safety team to NHS Improvement

Gee E, Saul G (2021) A nurse’s guide to direct oral anticoagulants. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11558

Emma Gee has received speaker honoraria from Bayer, but they have had no input into this article

* On 1 April 2016 the statutory patient safety functions previously delivered by NHS England transferred with the national patient safety team to NHS Improvement

Published online: 05 January 2021

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to nursingstandard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • The monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or