Safety and effectiveness of rivaroxaban for prevention of stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: analysis of routine clinical data from four countries

Luis Alberto García-Rodríguez, Ana Ruigómez, Tania Schink, Annemarie Voss, Elisabeth Smits, Karin M A Swart, Yanina Balabanova, Kiliana Suzart-Woischnik, Gunnar Brobert, Ron M C Herings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The safety and effectiveness of rivaroxaban versus vitamin K antagonists (standard of care [SOC]) for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) was evaluated in Europe. Research design and methods: Observational studies were conducted in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden. Primary safety outcomes were hospitalization for intracranial hemorrhage, gastrointestinal bleeding, or urogenital bleeding among new users of rivaroxaban and SOC with NVAF; outcomes were analyzed using cohort (rivaroxaban or SOC use) and nested case–control designs (current vs nonuse). Statistical analyses comparing rivaroxaban and SOC cohorts were not performed. Results: Overall, 162,919 rivaroxaban users and 177,758 SOC users were identified. In the cohort analysis, incidence ranges for rivaroxaban users were 0.25–0.63 events per 100 person-years for intracranial bleeding, 0.49–1.72 for gastrointestinal bleeding, and 0.27–0.54 for urogenital bleeding. Corresponding ranges for SOC users were 0.30–0.80, 0.30–1.42, and 0.24–0.42, respectively. In the nested case–control analysis, current SOC use generally presented a greater risk of bleeding outcomes than nonuse. Rivaroxaban use (vs nonuse) was associated with a higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, but a similar risk of intracranial or urogenital bleeding, in most countries. Ischemic stroke incidence ranged from 0.31 to 1.52 events per 100 person-years for rivaroxaban users. Conclusions: Incidences of intracranial bleeding were generally lower with rivaroxaban than with SOC, whereas incidences of gastrointestinal and urogenital bleeding were generally higher. The safety profile of rivaroxaban for NVAF in routine practice is consistent with findings from randomized controlled trials and other studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-500
Number of pages8
JournalExpert opinion on drug safety
Issue number6
Early online date16 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • NVAF
  • atrial fibrillation
  • rivaroxaban
  • stroke prevention

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