Warfarin is frequently prescribed as an oral anticoagulant but patients who take it require regular blood tests. Due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic the guide recommended that direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) should be considered as an alternative to warfarin as they require less rigorous and intensive monitoring. Updated NICE guidance now states DOAC should be first line for the majority of patients and where a patient is on Warfarin they should be assessed for conversion onto a DOAC, see NICE guidelines: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng196/chapter/Update-information
The guide suggested a review for some patients on warfarin therapy. For those patients who would be starting oral anticoagulation for the first time it was recommended that, where possible, DOACs should be prescribed to minimise the monitoring burden.
To help explain how DOACs work and the reason for either switching people to or starting people on these medicines, UCLPartners have developed a series of videos to share with patients.
To watch with subtitles please click on the subtitles icon on the bottom right hand of the screen.
What is anticoagulation?
An explanation of how anticoagulants work, the conditions that they are used to treat and the types of anticoagulants available.
I am on a Direct Oral Anticoagulant (DOAC)
An insightful overview from a patient on taking DOAC medication.
Starting a DOAC
An overview of how to take a DOAC, the possible side effects and monitoring.
Anticoagulation in venous thromboembolism (VTE)
An explanation of the risk factors for developing a venous thromboembolism (or blood clot), the anticoagulant medication used to treat these and the differences between them.
Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation (AF)
An explanation of AF, the types of medication used as therapy for AF and the differences between these.
Switching from warfarin to a DOAC
This video explains the benefits of taking a DOAC over warfarin, and also goes through important considerations when taking a DOAC.
These videos were designed to enable conversations with patients who are able to change to or start DOACs. For patients who need to remain on warfarin please consult resources from Anticoagulation UK.