Standard- vs. low-dose rivaroxaban in patients with atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This article was originally published here

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 15. doi: 10.1007/s00228-021-03226-6. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Low-dose rivaroxaban is often given to patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) around the world, but the rationale for its use remains unclear. We aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of standard- or low-dose rivaroxaban in patients with AF through systematic review of literature with meta-analysis.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, Clinical, the Cochrane Library, and Bayer trial website from inception of each database until June 2020. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies were included in the meta-analysis. A random-effects model was employed to calculate the pooled effect estimates.

RESULTS: Two RCTs and 17 cohort studies were included in the qualitative analysis. Indirect comparison of RCTs showed no significant difference between the two rivaroxaban dosages in risk of efficacy or safety outcomes (p > 0.05). Indirect comparison of cohort studies showed a lower risk of MACE among Caucasians in standard-dose group (HR 0.779; 95% CI 0.687-0.884; p < 0.001). Bleeding outcomes did not differ significantly between the two dosage regimens in Asian or Caucasian populations, except that the standard dose was associated with higher risk of major bleeding among elderly Caucasian patients (HR 1.329; 95% CI 1.141-1.547; p < 0.001). The quality of evidence was rated ranging from very low to low for all the efficacy and safety outcomes.

CONCLUSION: In Caucasians with AF, standard-dose rivaroxaban may prevent MACE significantly better than low-dose treatment. Further studies in Asians are needed to verify the advantages of the standard dose.

PMID:34651200 | DOI:10.1007/s00228-021-03226-6