MAY 27, 2024 8:49 AM PDT

Managing anticoagulation-related brain bleeds: evaluation of andexanet

WRITTEN BY: Greta Anne

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a serious and often life-threatening condition, particularly in patients taking anticoagulants such as factor Xa inhibitors for prevention of blood clots. The rapid reversal of anticoagulation is critical in these patients to manage bleeding and improve outcomes. Andexanet alfa, a reversal agent specifically designed for factor Xa inhibitors, has shown promise in reducing anticoagulant activity. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluates the efficacy and safety of andexanet in comparison to usual care in patients with ICH associated with factor Xa inhibitors.

The study included an extended population of 530 patients who were randomized to receive either andexanet or usual care. The results demonstrated that andexanet was significantly more effective than usual care in achieving hemostatic efficacy. Hemostatic efficacy was defined by expansion of the hematoma by 35% or less at 12 hours after presentation. This is vital because expansion of the hematoma tends to be a predictor of poor outcomes. In the andexanet group, 150 of 224 patients (67.0%) met the criteria for hemostatic efficacy, compared to 121 of 228 patients (53.1%) in the usual care group. 

Thrombotic events were a significant concern in this trial. The incidence of thrombotic events was notably higher in the andexanet group, occurring in 27 of 263 patients (10.3%), compared to 15 of 267 patients (5.6%) in the usual care group. This finding indicates a statistically significant increase in thrombotic risk associated with andexanet. Regarding mortality, the study found no significant difference between the two groups. 

The findings indicate that andexanet effectively improves hemostatic efficacy in patients with factor Xa inhibitor-associated ICH. However, this benefit is accompanied by a higher incidence of thrombotic events. “We did see that the drug -- although it reduces expansion, which is a benefit -- actually increases the risk of thrombotic events, in particular ischemic stroke,” Dr. Stuart Connolly mentioned in an interview to MedPage Today.

Andexanet shows significant efficacy in managing hematoma expansion in patients with factor Xa inhibitor-associated ICH. Nevertheless, the increased risk of thrombotic events presents a substantial concern, emphasizing the need for careful patient selection and monitoring. Further research is necessary to fully understand the long-term outcomes and optimize the therapeutic use of andexanet in clinical practice.

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, MedPage Today

About the Author
Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
Greta holds her PharmD and is a writer at Labroots. She also has a strong background in neuroscience & psychology. When she is not working as a pharmacist or a writer, she enjoys fostering her creative initiatives such as traveling, working out, spending time at the beach, and cooking!
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