Background The novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) provide alternative options for thromboprophylaxis. The efficacy of antithrombotic medications such as aspirin may vary between patients and alternative medications need to be identified.
Purpose To carry out comparative analysis of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) reported for aspirin and NOACs.
Material and methods Pharmacovigilance (PV) reports from Eudravigilance were used to compare 15 ADRs listed as commonly occurring in the Summaries of Product Characteristics, for aspirin and the three NOACs: apixaban, dabigatran and rivaroxaban. ADRs reported between 2013 and 2017 were used for the study. A questionnaire was developed to collect information related to ADRs encountered by patients while taking aspirin or NOACs. Fifty patients were recruited (25 taking aspirin, 25 taking rivaroxaban). Documented ADRs from PV reports were compared to patient-reported ADRs. The consumption trends for NOACs were analysed from published articles.
Results For the 15 ADRs, 51,391 PV reports were reported to Eudravigilance, with bleeding-related ADRs (38,826/51,391) being the commonest reported ADRs. Gastrointestinal bleeding (n=25,892) was the commonest reported ADR for rivaroxaban (n=12,974), aspirin (n=5,855), dabigatran (n=5,321) and apixaban (n=1,742). Reported ADRs were highest for rivaroxaban (n=24,832). The four medications differed as regards the safety profile. For all 15 ADRs investigated, statistically significant differences were observed between reported cases of ADRs for the four medications. Thirty-six patients who completed the questionnaire reported at least one ADR (aspirin=18, rivaroxaban=18). Bleeding-related ADRs were least reported by patients (aspirin=11, rivaroxaban=4).
Conclusion Bleeding-related ADRs were highest in PV reports and the lowest reported in questionnaires, suggestive of under-reporting of ADRs considered as minor or less serious by patients. High numbers of reported ADRs for rivaroxaban compared to dabigatran and apixaban possibly reflect consumption trends. Consumption trends show that rivaroxaban is the most used NOAC. Differences in reported ADRs could be due to differences in consumption trends, differences in safety profiles of medication or reporting bias. ADRs are more likely to be reported for novel medications such as NOACs, for which clinical experience may be limited when compared to conventional drugs such as aspirin. More data on the safety and efficacy of NOACs is necessary to help determine the risk-benefit ratio of therapy.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.