Atrial fibrillation is an independent, powerful risk factor for stroke. Until recently, acetyl salicylic acid (aspirin) and warfarin were the only approved treatment options for stroke prophylaxis. Although warfarin provides a significantly better risk reduction in stroke compared to placebo and aspirin, its usage difficulties entailed investigation of new treatment alternatives. Studies showed that new oral anticoagulants (such as dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban) are as efficient and safe as warfarin. New anticoagulants seem appealing by their rapid onset of action and low drug and diet interactions, together with not necessitating any routine monitoring; however lack of specific antidotes constitute a disadvantage at the moment.