Adherence to clinical guidance in the prescribing of oral antithrombotic medication in patients with atrial fibrillation

  • M. Savage
  • M. Teeling
  • K. Bennett
  • J. Feely
Original Paper



Atrial fibrillation is the commonest cardiac rhythm disturbance and is an independent risk factor for stroke; however, use of oral antithrombotic therapy is reported to be suboptimal in clinical practice.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the prescribing rates of oral antithrombotic therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation to determine if prescribing patterns reflected published clinical guidance.


Patients with atrial fibrillation, admitted to hospital over a 12-week period were identified and their antithrombotic therapy regimen was analysed using statistical methods.


Although 87/100 patients identified were prescribed OAT, the regimen was sub-optimal in 35 patients. Patients aged 75 years and older were more likely to be receiving suboptimal oral antithrombotic treatment compared with younger patients


The benefits and suitability of oral antithrombotic therapy for patients of all ages need to be more comprehensively communicated to prescribers.


Atrial Fibrillation Warfarin Digoxin Clopidogrel Stroke Prevention 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health SciencesSt. James’s HospitalDublin 8

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