Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia that increases the risk of thromboembolic stroke. The goal of anticoagulation therapy is to prevent both thromboembolism and the bleeding complications associated with anticoagulant treatment. The results of a phase-III clinical trial of the new oral antithrombotic drug dabigatran have just become available. The effects of two doses of this drug (i.e. 110. mg and 150. mg every 12 hours) were compared with those of warfarin in the RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy) study. This article presents the principal results of this study. They indicate that administering 110. mg of the drug every 12 hours is as effective as giving warfarin and is safer. Furthermore, 150. mg every 12 hours is more effective than warfarin in preventing thromboembolism and has a similar safety profile. Consequently, dabigatran is an alternative to warfarin treatment. © 2012 Sociedad Española de Cardiología.
- Atrial fibrillation