Relevance of physicochemical properties and functional pharmacology data to predict the clinical safety profile of direct oral anticoagulants

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have rapidly become the drug class of choice for anticoagulation therapy in secondary care. It is known that gastrointestinal hemorrhage are potential side effects of the DOAC drug class. In this study we have investigated the relevance of molecular structure and on/off‐target pharmacology as a predictor of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) for the DOAC drug class. Use of the Reaxys MedChem module allowed for data mining of all possible reported off‐target effects of the DOAC class members. For the first time, the MHRA Yellow card database in combination with prescribing rates in the United Kingdom (data for n = 30 566 936 DOAC Rx (up to 2017) and ADR data n = 22 275 (up to 2018)) were used for our data comparison of DOACs. From the underlying reported data, we were able to rank the DOACs in terms of the likely adverse events we would expect to observe. We identified potential risks of ADRs based on the DOACs pharmacology including the expected GI hemorrhage, but also the unexpected risk of stroke, pulmonary embolism and kidney injury. Statistically significant (P < .001) differences were found between all DOACs and their total number of ADRs. Although the risks are small, strong statistical correlation between observed pharmacology and national ADR data is observed in three out of the five areas of concern.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00603
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacology Research and Perspectives
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020


  • DOACs, Yellow Card, risk factors, selectivity profile