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Is Daily Blood Thinner Needed for Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 7 May 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 6, 2016 – A smartphone app might offer an alternative for certain patients with an irregular heartbeat who must take risky blood-thinning medication every day to lower their risk for stroke. New research suggests some people with atrial fibrillation might do just as well by diligently monitoring their pulse, perhaps recording their heartbeat via a smartphone EKG, and only taking such drugs on an as-needed basis. Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition characterized by an abnormal or irregular heart rhythm. Uncontrolled, it can lead to blood clotting and stroke. Blood-thinning drugs, called anticoagulants, are the usual treatment. For years, the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin) has been the top go-to drug for such patients. "The problem is that long-term use of anticoagulants is associated with an increased risk of bleeding," explained study co-author Dr. Francis ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Reversal of Dabigatran

Widely Used Heart Drug Tied to Dementia Risk

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – People with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation may have a heightened risk of developing dementia – and the quality of their drug treatment may play a role, a new study hints. Specifically, researchers found, patients on the clot-preventing drug warfarin showed a higher dementia risk if their blood levels of the medication were frequently too high or too low. And that was true not only for people with atrial fibrillation, but also for those using warfarin for other reasons. Dr. Jared Bunch, the lead researcher on the study, said the findings uncover two potential concerns: People with atrial fibrillation may face an increased risk of dementia, independent of warfarin use, but warfarin might also contribute to dementia if the doses are not optimal. "If people's levels of warfarin were erratic, their dementia risk was higher, whether they had AF or ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Jantoven, Lewy Body Dementia

Warfarin Can Be Safe, Effective for People With Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 20 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 – Millions of American heart patients take warfarin – for decades a cheap, but often tricky-to-manage mainstay blood thinner. Now, new research shows that when it is well-managed, warfarin treatment appears safe for people with atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder. "Well-managed warfarin treatment is a valid alternative in patients with atrial fibrillation who require anticoagulant treatments, with relatively low complication rates and low all-cause [death rates]," concludes a team led by Dr. Fredrik Bjorck of Umea University in Sweden. The findings come in the context of newer, but much pricier, blood thinners – drugs such as Eliquis, Pradaxa and Xarelto. One expert who reviewed the new study said he would still opt for these medications over warfarin, because they are so much easier to manage. "In my opinion, the benefits of improved patient ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Excedrin, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Arthritis Pain Formula, Soma Compound, Norgesic, Bayer Aspirin, Arthritis Pain

Many With Irregular Heartbeat Missing Out on Stroke-Preventing Treatments

Posted 16 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 16, 2016 – Doctors know that a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation increases the odds for stroke. But less than half of "a-fib" patients at highest risk for stroke are prescribed recommended blood thinners by their cardiologists, new research finds. "The findings of our study are surprising given that these patients with atrial fibrillation were treated by a cardiovascular specialist, who should be aware of guideline recommendations" for anticoagulants, such as warfarin, said study lead author Dr. Jonathan Hsu. He is a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Hsu's team tracked more than 400,000 atrial fibrillation patients in the United States for four years. The investigators found that most were prescribed blood-thinning drugs up to a point. But more than 50 percent of the very highest-risk patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Reversal of Dabigatran

Brain Bleed Risk From Warfarin May Be Higher Than Thought

Posted 9 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – The widely used blood thinner warfarin – also known as Coumadin – may raise the risk of severe bleeding inside the skull by much more than previously thought, a new study suggests. Researchers examined data from nearly 32,000 U.S. veterans, aged 75 and older, with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation. The investigators found that almost one in three suffered an "intracranial" bleed while taking warfarin for the condition. "Atrial fibrillation ("a-fib") is a common heart rhythm disorder in elderly patients. And in patients with a-fib, treatment with the blood thinner warfarin reduces the risk of stroke by nearly two-thirds," explained study lead author Dr. John Dodson. "However, many clinicians are hesitant to prescribe warfarin in elderly patients, often because of concerns over head trauma due to falls, which can result in catastrophic ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Jantoven

The Pill, Hormone Therapy Safe for Women Taking Blood Thinners: Study

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 – Women on blood thinners can also take contraceptives that contain estrogen, or hormone replacement therapy, without raising their risk for blood clots or uterine bleeding, a new Italian study finds. Currently, women diagnosed with blood clots may be advised to stop hormone therapy or use of the contraceptive pill – even if they are already on a blood thinner. The reason: Doctors are often concerned that these drug combinations might raise the patient's risk for more clots. However, "there has been no evidence to support this decision," said the study's senior author, Dr. Ida Martinelli, of the A. Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Milan. "We conducted this study to address the fear felt by both the physician and patient when making the decision to stop or continue hormone therapy in this setting," she explained in a news release from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Emergency Contraception, Warfarin, Coumadin, Hot Flashes, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Xarelto, Premarin, Pradaxa, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Postcoital Contraception, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Lovenox, Eliquis, Heparin

Blood Thinner, Certain Diabetes Drugs Are a Bad Combo

Posted 8 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 – Taking the blood thinner warfarin at the same time as certain diabetes drugs increases the risk of hospitalization, a new study warns. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 466,000 Medicare patients. They found that those who took warfarin along with the diabetes drugs glipizide or glimepiride – also known as sulfonylureas – had a 22 percent increased risk of making an emergency room visit or being hospitalized for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). While doctors are warned about potential interaction between the drugs, there has been little actual data, said study author John Romely, an associate professor at the University of Southern California Center for Health Policy and Economics and School of Public Policy. "Until now, no one had really studied the interactions between them," he said in a university news release. The risk was especially high for men aged ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Warfarin, Coumadin, Glipizide, Glyburide, Glimepiride, Amaryl, GlipiZIDE XL, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, DiaBeta, Jantoven, Glipizide/Metformin, Glynase, Micronase, Glycron, Tolazamide, Chlorpropamide, Glimepiride/Pioglitazone, Diabinese

Most Don't Need 'Bridging' When They Stop Warfarin Temporarily

Posted 26 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 26, 2015 – Heart patients on the clot-preventing drug warfarin usually have to stop the medication before having surgery. Now, a new study shows they can safely do that without taking another anti-clotting drug – and they may even be better off. The study, reported in the Aug. 27 New England Journal of Medicine, helps answer long-standing questions about how to manage patients taking warfarin (Coumadin) for an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. Because warfarin is a powerful anticoagulant – which means it prevents blood clots – it can also raise the risk of internal bleeding. That's why people typically have to stop using warfarin in the days before and after an elective surgery. But it hadn't been clear whether those patients need what doctors call "bridging anticoagulation." That means taking another type of anti-clotting medication that is ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Hep-Pak, Surgical Prophylaxis, Jantoven, Heparin Sodium, Hep-Pak CVC

Health Tip: Know Your Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Posted 4 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

-- A dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein deep inside the body. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions these potential risk factors: Having had a previous DVT, or taking medication that thickens the blood or promotes clotting. Having had surgery, a broken bone or other injury that affects a deep vein. Having reduced blood flow to a deep vein as a result of inactivity. Typical causes are post-surgical recovery, or taking a long trip that limits your ability to move around. Being pregnant. Being treated for cancer. Having a central venous catheter. Being over the age of 60, being a smoker or being obese. Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pradaxa, Lovenox, Eliquis, Heparin, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Deep Vein Thrombosis - First Event, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Recurrent Event, Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Knee Replacement Surgery, Clexane, Apixaban, Fragmin, Arixtra, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prophylaxis

Antibiotic May Lower Effect of Some Blood Thinners

Posted 21 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 – The antibiotic dicloxacillin may lessen the effects of some blood-thinning medications, new research shows. "The surprise in the study was just how much of an impact dicloxacillin had," said study author Anton Pottegard, a pharmacist and research fellow at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense. "Often, the effects in these kinds of studies are quite small. But this was very pronounced: Six out of 10 patients dropped so much in their level of blood-thinning that they were no longer sufficiently protected against clotting and stroke," Pottegard said. Coumadin (warfarin) and similar blood thinners lower the risk of blood clots, a potential cause of strokes and heart attacks, by thinning the blood so blockages don't form in vessels, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Patients with irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Metronidazole, Coumadin, Bacterial Infection, Ischemic Stroke, Atrial Fibrillation, Bactrim, Flagyl, Bactrim DS, Xifaxan, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Polymyxin B, Septra, Zyvox, Rifaximin, Bacitracin, Metro

How Long Do Patients With Clots in the Lung Need Blood Thinners?

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – People who suffer a blood clot in the lungs with no obvious cause can ward off a new clot with extended use of blood-thinning medications, a new study shows. However, the length of time those blood thinners should be given is unclear, since their benefits wear off soon after use is discontinued, the French researchers found. The clots are called pulmonary emboli, explained one U.S. expert, Dr. Richard Hayes. "Pulmonary emboli are clots in the blood vessels to the lungs that arise from the veins of the leg or thigh," said Hayes, a cardiologist at Lenox Health in New York City. One type of clot is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), often nicknamed "economy-class syndrome" because of cases occurring after long-haul flights. In many cases, Hayes said, there's a trigger – extended bedrest, obesity, recent surgery – for the clot, but in other cases the clots seem to arise ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Lovenox, Pulmonary Embolism, Eliquis, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Pulmonary Embolism - Recurrent Event, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Apixaban, Fragmin, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Innohep, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux

White Men May Get Better Treatment for Abnormal Heartbeat

Posted 30 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 – Women, Hispanics and blacks are less likely than white men to receive optimal treatment for atrial fibrillation in the United States, researchers say. The study of more than a half-million Medicare patients found that women with this abnormal heart rhythm are less likely than men to get blood thinners to prevent stroke, which is a serious risk with atrial fibrillation. Women, blacks and Hispanics are also less likely to get catheter ablation, a surgical procedure that can restore the heart's normal rhythm. "Across the board, women are offered less aggressive care, particularly in cardiology," said lead researcher Dr. Prashant Bhave, a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at University of Iowa Health Care. "There are still gaps in how patients are treated," he said. "The most important one is the difference in prescribing blood thinners. Ablation ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Lovenox, Eliquis, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Apixaban, Fragmin, Arixtra, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Hep-Pak, Innohep, Dabigatran, Jantoven

Drug May Be Antidote to Bleeding Tied to Blood Thinner Pradaxa

Posted 22 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 – The new blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) is being widely used, but it comes with one serious drawback: rare but dangerous cases of sudden, uncontrolled bleeding in patients. Now, a new study finds than an experimental, injected drug called idarucizumab could be used to quickly stop that bleeding. "Idarucizumab completely reversed the anticoagulant [bleeding] effect of dabigatran within minutes," researchers say in a study published online June 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In recent years, new-generation blood thinners such as Pradaxa have been approved as more manageable alternatives to older drugs such as warfarin. Unlike warfarin, these drugs "do not require blood tests for monitoring... while offering similar results in terms of effectiveness," explained Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of cardiology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prosthetic Heart Valves, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Mechanical Valves, Atrial Flutter, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thrombotic/Thromboembolic Disorder, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Tissue Valves, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Mitral Stenosis, Valvular Heart Disease, Argatroban, Refludan

Blood Thinners OK for Cancers That Spread to Brain, Study Finds

Posted 2 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 – Blood-thinning drugs are safe for treating blood clots in patients with cancer that has spread to the brain from other areas of the body, according to new research. Cancer normally increases a person's risk of blood clots, the study authors explained in a news release from the American Society of Hematology. When a cancer patient develops a clot, a blood thinner – also called an anticoagulant – is often added to the cancer treatment regimen to prevent the risk of blood clots traveling to the lungs. Such a clot can be fatal. However, if cancer spreads from other parts of the body to the brain (called brain metastases), doctors are hesitant to prescribe blood thinners because of concern they might cause bleeding in the head, which is already a risk for these patients, the study authors added. The new findings show that the use of blood thinners in these patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Lovenox, Eliquis, Heparin, Brain Tumor, Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Apixaban, Fragmin, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Innohep, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Dalteparin

Blood Thinner Warfarin May Pose Greater Bleeding Risk for Obese: Study

Posted 8 May 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 – Obese patients taking the blood thinner warfarin appear to have almost twice the risk of severe stomach bleeding compared to their normal-weight counterparts, a new study suggests. Why obese patients may be at greater risk for stomach bleeding isn't clear, according to the study. But Dr. Richard Hayes, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill HealthPlex in New York City, said it isn't surprising that obese patients taking warfarin may have a higher risk for stomach bleeding. "Obese patients have more medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes," he said. "Therefore, they are more likely to be on other medications, many of which interfere with warfarin." Hayes was not involved in the new research, but reviewed the study's findings. Warfarin is taken to prevent heart attacks and stroke. It is often prescribed for patients with atrial fibrillation – an abnormal ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Upper GI Hemorrhage, Dicumarol, Anisindione, Miradon

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