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MHRA to review anticoagulant prescribing after CKD stroke risk warning

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has said it will review the use of anticoagulants, following a new study that showed increased risks for atrial fibrillation patients with comorbid chronic kidney disease patients.

Both the MHRA and NICE have now responded to the findings, with the regulatory agency confirming that they are reviewing the situation to determine if there are any safety implications for patients. 

The study, which showed that patients with AF and CKD taking anticoagulants were nearly three times more likely to experience a stroke and more than twice as likely to suffer a haemorrhage, was published last month in the BMJ. 

In their current advice, the MHRA has said that prescribers should take 'special care' when prescribing new oral anticoagulants to patients with other conditions, and should pay particular attention to renal function.

A spokesperson for the agency that licences the drugs said: ‘Patient safety is our highest priority and as with all medicines, the safety of blood thinners is kept under constant review.

‘The MHRA is aware of the new study on the use of blood thinners in patients with kidney disease and will review the findings to determine whether they have any implications for the safe use of these medicines.

‘Any patient who is concerned about their treatment with blood thinners should contact their doctor but continue to take their medicine in the meantime.’

NICE also has guidance on the use of anticoagulation medication and has recommended their use in some patients with atrial fibrillation.

A NICE spokesperson said: ‘As with all our clinical guidelines, our guideline on the management of AF assumes that prescribers will use a drug's summary of product characteristics to inform decisions made with individual patients.

‘We are currently updating our guideline on the management of AF and will consider the study and any resulting action from MHRA in relation to anticoagulants to prevent strokes in people with AF as part of that process.’