Prompt diagnosis and treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is essential to decrease both the risk of recurrence and a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism (PE). Traditionally, treatment of DVT and PE begins with a parenteral anticoagulant, overlapping with and transitioning to longer-term treatment with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA). Novel oral anticoagulants (OACs) provide an alternative option for the treatment of DVT and PE, and overcome many of the practical limitations associated with VKAs. The updated 2014 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines now recommend the novel OACs rivaroxaban, dabigatran, apixaban and edoxaban as alternatives to traditional therapy for the treatment of PE in patients with a low/intermediate risk for early mortality. The use of compression stockings is an important adjunct to pharmacological treatment in patients with DVT. Other venous thromboembolism (VTE) treatment approaches may include surgery catheter-guided thrombectomy or thrombolytic therapy.