Rivaroxaban Appears to Carry a Higher Risk of Severe Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Than Other DOACs or Warfarin

INTRODUCTION: There have been reports of clinically relevant uterine bleeding events among women of reproductive age exposed to rivaroxaban.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the risk of severe abnormal uterine bleeding (SAUB) resulting in transfusion or surgical intervention among women on rivaroxaban versus apixaban, dabigatran and warfarin.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in the FDA’s Sentinel System (10/2010-09/2015) among females aged 18+ years with venous thromboembolism (VTE), or atrial flutter/fibrillation (AF) who newly initiated a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC; rivaroxaban, apixaban, dabigatran) or warfarin. We followed women from dispensing date until the earliest of transfusion or surgery following vaginal bleeding, disenrollment, exposure or study end date, or recorded death. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) using Cox proportional hazards regression via propensity score stratification. Four pairwise comparisons were conducted for each intervention.

RESULTS: Overall, there was an increased risk of surgical intervention with rivaroxaban when compared with dabigatran (HR 1.19; 95% CI 1.03-1.38), apixaban (1.23; 1.04-1.47), and warfarin (1.34; 1.22-1.47). No difference in risk for surgical intervention was observed for dabigatran-apixaban comparisons. Increased risk of transfusion was observed for rivaroxaban compared with dabigatran (1.49; 1.03-2.17) only. For patients with no gynecological history, rivaroxaban was associated with risk of surgical intervention compared with dabigatran (1.22; 1.05-1.42), apixaban (1.25; 1.04-1.49), and warfarin (1.36; 1.23-1.50).

CONCLUSION: Our study found increased SAUB risk with rivaroxaban use compared with other DOACs or warfarin. Increased risk with rivaroxaban was present among women without underlying gynecological conditions. Women on anticoagulant therapy should be aware of a risk of SAUB.

Eworuke E, et al. Risk of Severe Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Associated with Rivaroxaban Compared with Apixaban, Dabigatran and Warfarin. Drug Saf. 2021 Jul;44(7):753-763.