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Archive for the ‘Bleeding’ Category

NO FDA Approval Yet for Andexanet

| Anticoagulants, Bleeding, Therapy, Uncategorized | Comments Off on NO FDA Approval Yet for Andexanet

Stephan Moll, MD writes… The FDA did NOT approve Andexanet (brand names: AndexXa in the US, IndexXa in Europe) in a decision on August 18th, 2016.  Andexanet is the antidote in clinical development to reverse the anticoagulant effect of Eliquis® (rivaroxaban), Savaysa® (edoxaban), Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) and Lovenox® (enoxaparin).  The FDA is said to have requested more information from the company (Portola) making Andexanet, specifically (a) additional information related to manufacturing of the drug, and (b) more data to support inclusion of Savaysa® and Lovenox®  in the label.  The FDA also wants to finalize its review of the company’s proposals for post-marketing data collection on the performance of the drug.

It needs to be seen when the company (Portola) submits the requested additional information to the FDA and when a new decision from the FDA is then to be expected.  My guess is that this will be sometime in 2017.



  1. Portola announcement from Aug 18, 2016:
  2. Connolly SJ et al. Andexanet alfa for acute major bleeding associated with factor Xa inhibitors. NEJM 2016;Aug 30 [e-pub]


Disclosure:  I have consulted for Portola, Janssen, and Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Last updated: Aug 31st, 2016

Contraceptive Use While on Anticoagulants is Safe

| Anticoagulants, Bleeding, Uncategorized, Women and blood clots | Comments Off on Contraceptive Use While on Anticoagulants is Safe

Stephan Moll, MD writes… Interesting and clinically relevant publication this week [ref 1].  It is well known that estrogens and certain progestin preparations increase the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE).  A woman on an anticoagulant may have heavy menstrual bleeds and hormonal therapy – such as estrogen-progestin contraceptives – may be considered to decrease the bleeding.

The newly published study Read the rest of this entry »

Bleeding on Antithrombotics: Reversal Protocol 2016

| Bleeding, Guideline, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bleeding on Antithrombotics: Reversal Protocol 2016

Stephan Moll, MD writes…  Our medical center (University of North Carolina Hospitals,  Chapel Hill)  has put together a comprehensive “Emergent Anticoagulation Reversal Guideline” for our local use, updated since its last edition in 2014 with information about Pradaxa® reversal (with Praxbind®).  It is  a practical, clinical how-to document (2016 PDF here ). Colleagues and hospitals are welcome to take the document,  modify it, and apply it to their institution – there are no copyright concerns.


Disclosures: I have been a consultant on one occasion for Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Last updated: May 11th, 2016

Antidotes for the New Oral Anticoagulants: Update

| Anticoagulants, Bleeding, Eliquis, Pradaxa (dabigatran), Uncategorized, Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) | Comments Off on Antidotes for the New Oral Anticoagulants: Update

Stephan Moll, MD writes (on Nov 7th, 2014)… A N Engl J Med publication this week [ref 1] reports on a new reversal agent (PER977 = Aripazine = ciraparantag) that may be effective against a number of different new oral anticoagulants. Read the rest of this entry »

LMWH and Epidural Catheters – FDA Recommendations

| Bleeding, LMWH, Uncategorized | Comments Off on LMWH and Epidural Catheters – FDA Recommendations

Stephan Moll, MD writes… The FDA published today a drug safety recommendation to decrease bleeding and paralysis risk for patients receiving epidural catheters and being treated with LMWH  (detailed FDA report is here).  While in many parts of the document the FDA talks specifically about enoxaparin, the communication states that “these new timing recommendations….. will be added to the labels of anticoagulant drugs known as LMWH, including Lovenox and generic enoxaparin products and similar products”.  The recommendations are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Major Bleeding on Dabigatran (Pradaxa) – Interesting Publication

| Anticoagulants, Bleeding, Pradaxa (dabigatran), Therapy, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Major Bleeding on Dabigatran (Pradaxa) – Interesting Publication

Stephan Moll, MD writes…

Interesting publication this week in Circulation: “Management and outcomes of major bleeding during treatment with dabigatran or warfarin” (Majeed A et al; published online Sept 30,2013;  full publication is here).  The management and prognosis of major bleeding in patients treated with dabigatran or warfarin was compared, pooling data of the major bleeds that occurred in 5 phase III dabigatran trials. 1,121 major bleeds occurred in 27,419 patients treated with warfarin or dabigatran.


The noteworthy findings: 

  1. Patients with major bleeding on dabigatran (Pradaxa) do not fare worse than patients with major bleed on warfarin (regarding 30 day mortality). They may actually fare a little better, as evidence by a shorter stay in the intensive care unit.  That is reassuring when discussing the choice of the anticoagulant (warfarin versus dabigatran) with a patient.
  2. There were (as we already knew from previous publications) significantly less intracranial bleeds on dabigatran than on warfarin; however, there were more GI bleeds on dabigatran (supplemental table 1). This is noteworthy, as many would view an intracranial bleed as more worrisome and detrimental than a gastrointestinal bleed.
  3. Warfarin reversal is done suboptimally in clinical practice: In patients with major bleeding on warfarin, (i) only 30 % of patients received vitamin K and (ii) only 1.2 % of patients received a prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC); 30 % received FFP.  This is noteworthy, as guidelines (ACCP 2012) suggest that in case of major bleeding on warfarin PCCs be given rather than plasma (FFP); and vitamin K should be standard of care in warfarin reversal.  The observation in this Circulation publication reflects that reversal of warfarin therapy is often suboptimally done, even though  appropriate tools exist, i.e. vitamin K and PCCs  (see also Clot Connect’s Kcentra discussion here).


Disclosure:  I have consulted for Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Last updated:  Oct 2nd, 2013

FDA Approval of New Drug to Treat Major Bleeding on Warfarin – Kcentra

| Anticoagulants, Bleeding, Uncategorized, Warfarin (Coumadin) | Comments Off on FDA Approval of New Drug to Treat Major Bleeding on Warfarin – Kcentra

Stephan Moll, MD writes…  A new drug for the urgent reversal of warfarin was approved by the FDA today, April 29th, 2013 (announcement by the FDA is here), called Kcentra.  The drug is derived from pooled plasma from healthy blood donors and contains the coagulation factors that are low in warfarin-treated patients, i.e. factors II, VII, IX, and X.  It is also referred to as a 4-factor concentrate, or non-activated Prothrombin Complex Concentrate (PCC).  The drug prescribing information (package insert) is here.

Up until now only 3-factor concentrates (PCC) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) were available in the U.S. in addition to vitamin K to urgently reverse warfarin and to treat major bleeding in warfarin-treated patients.  The new drug is a welcome addition to the armamentarium when having to treat warfarin-associated major bleeding.  Where until now I used to give 3-factor PCCs, I will now give the 4-factor PCC.


Bleeding and the new oral anticoagulants

A question that will now be raised is whether this new drug is also suitable to treat major bleeding on one of the new oral anticoagulants, i.e. Xarelto, Pradaxa, or Eliquis.  It is not known whether Kcentra would be beneficial in that situation.  However, as some hospitals and clinicians presently have 3-factor PCCs on their reversal algorithm, it is fair to consider a review and possible modification of the hospital treatment guidelines on the management of major bleeding not only on warfarin, but also on the new oral anticoagulants.



Sarode R et al. Efficacy and safety of a 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrate in patients on vitamin K antagonists presenting with major bleeding. A randomized, plasma-controlled, phase IIIb study. Circulation 2013;128:1234-1243.


Disclosure: I have consulted for CSL Behring, the comapny making Kcentra.

Last updated: Dec 13th, 2013






Minor Cuts and Nosebleeds on Anticoagulants

| Bleeding, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Minor Cuts and Nosebleeds on Anticoagulants

When a patient on warfarin bleeds more than usual it is, of course, important to make sure that the INR is not supra-therapeutic.  And, if the INR is too high, warfarin therapy needs to be adjusted and other treatment (vitamin K, etc) may have to be employed depending on the degree of INR elevation and bleeding.  However, in case of minor bleeds on anticoagulants, such as skin cuts or nosebleeds, several over-the-counter products are available and  may be helpful for the patient. Read the rest of this entry »