Apixaban 5 and 2.5 mg twice-daily versus warfarin for stroke prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients: Comparative effectiveness and safety evaluated using a propensity-score-matched approach
Prior real-world studies have shown that apixaban is associated with a reduced risk of stroke/systemic embolism (stroke/SE) and major bleeding versus warfarin. However, few studies evaluated the effectiveness and safety of apixaban according to its dosage, and most studies contained limited numbers of patients prescribed 2.5 mg twice-daily (BID) apixaban. Using pooled data from 4 American claims database sources, baseline characteristics and outcomes for patients prescribed 5 mg BID and 2.5 mg BID apixaban versus warfarin were compared. After 1: 1 propensity-score matching, 31,827 5 mg BID apixaban-matched warfarin patients and 6600 2.5 mg BID apixaban-matched warfarin patients were identified. Patients prescribed 2.5 mg BID apixaban were older, had clinically more severe comorbidities, and were more likely to have a history of stroke and bleeding compared with 5 mg BID apixaban patients. Compared with warfarin, 5 mg BID apixaban was associated with a lower risk of stroke/SE (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.60-0.81) and major bleeding (HR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.53-0.66). Compared with warfarin, 2.5 mg BID apixaban was also associated with a lower risk of stroke/SE (HR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.49-0.81) and major bleeding (HR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.49-0.71). In this real-world study, both apixaban doses were assessed in 2 patient groups differing in age and clinical characteristics. Each apixaban dose was associated with a lower risk of stroke/SE and major bleeding compared with warfarin in the distinct population for which it is being prescribed in United States clinical practice.