Abstract

After an initial 3 to 6 months of anticoagulation for venous thromboembolism (VTE), clinicians and patients face an important question: “Do we stop anticoagulants or continue them indefinitely?” The decision is easy in some scenarios (eg, stop in VTE provoked by major surgery). In most scenarios, which are faced on a day-to-day basis in routine practice, it is a challenging decision because of uncertainty in estimates in the long-term risks (principally major bleeding) and benefits (reducing recurrent VTE) and the tight trade-offs between them. Once the decision is made to continue, the next question to tackle is “Which anticoagulant?” Here again, it is a difficult decision because of the uncertainty with regard to estimates of efficacy and the safety of anticoagulant options and the tight trade-offs between choices. We conclude with the approach that we take in our clinical practice.

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