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Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation Blog

Exercise, Diet May Be Key to Beating a Common Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 – Atrial fibrillation is a potentially dangerous form of irregular heartbeat for older Americans. However, a new study suggests healthy changes in eating and exercise habits can help ease the condition. According to the Australian researchers, atrial fibrillation is the most common cause of irregular heartbeat, and it's been linked to a heightened risk for dementia, stroke and death. The new study included more than 149 people who had undergone a procedure called catheter ablation to treat the condition. In this procedure, the tissue surrounding the problem area in the heart is burned. In addition, 61 of the patients also took part in an aggressive "risk factor management" program after they underwent catheter ablation. The program was designed to reduce lifestyle risk factors such as being overweight, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

Could Too Much Medication for Irregular Heartbeat Raise Dementia Risk?

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – People with atrial fibrillation who are overtreated with anti-clotting drugs may be doubling their risk for dementia, a new study suggests. Atrial fibrillation causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract quickly and irregularly. These abnormal contractions allow blood to pool in the heart, forming clots that can cause a stroke if they break off and are carried into the brain. However, too much anti-clotting medication may raise the chances of tiny brain bleeds that, over time, might raise the risk of dementia, the researchers said. "In patients with atrial fibrillation, dementia risk is dependent on the efficacy and control of long-term use of anti-clotting drugs," said lead researcher Dr. Thomas Jared Bunch, director of electrophysiology at the Intermountain Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Warfarin and Plavix, along with aspirin, are some of the most ... Read more

Related support groups: Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Atrial Fibrillation, Dementia, Clopidogrel, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

Heart Device May Cut Stroke Risk in Those With Irregular Heartbeat: Study

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – A new implanted heart device might be more effective than blood-thinning medications in reducing stroke risk for people suffering from the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, researchers report. The device called WATCHMAN proved better than the commonly used anti-clotting drug warfarin in preventing strokes, blood clots and deaths among atrial fibrillation patients, the study found. "These are important outcomes," said study author Dr. Vivek Reddy, a professor of cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. "There are very few cardiovascular interventions that show reduced mortality, and this is one of them." The findings could lead to final federal approval for the device, which has been under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for several years, Reddy said. An FDA advisory panel gave the device a ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

FDA Medwatch Alert: Long-term Antiplatelet Therapy: Safety Announcement - Preliminary Trial Data Shows Benefits But a Higher Risk of Non-Cardiovascular Death

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

[Posted 11/16/2014] ISSUE: FDA is evaluating preliminary data from a clinical trial showing that treatment for 30 months with dual antiplatelet blood-thinning therapy decreased the risk of heart attacks and clot formation in stents, but there was an increased overall risk of death compared to 12 months of treatment. The clinical trial compared 30 months versus 12 months of treatment with dual antiplatelet therapy consisting of aspirin plus either clopidogrel (Plavix) or prasugrel (Effient), following implantation of drug-eluting coronary stents. These stents are small, medicine-coated tubes inserted into narrowed arteries in the heart to keep them open and maintain blood flow to the heart. Clopidogrel and prasugrel are important medicines used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other clot-related diseases.  FDA believes the benefits of clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) ... Read more

Related support groups: Plavix, Clopidogrel, Effient, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Prasugrel

Irregular Heartbeat Doubles Risk for 'Silent Strokes,' Review Suggests

Posted 4 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 4, 2014 – Atrial fibrillation, a common condition where the heart beats abnormally, may more than double the risk of "silent" strokes, a new review suggests. Silent strokes have no signs or symptoms, but can affect thinking and memory. In addition, recent research has shown that atrial fibrillation is associated with a 40 percent increased risk for mental impairment, the researchers noted. "Patients with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk of developing silent strokes," said review author Dr. Shadi Kalantarian, a resident at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Previous studies have found that silent strokes are associated with a more than threefold increase in the risk for symptomatic stroke and a twofold increase in the risk for dementia, she said. "The higher prevalence of silent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation may put this population at a ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

FDA Medwatch Alert: Pradaxa (dabigatran): Drug Safety Communication - Lower Risk for Stroke and Death, but Higher Risk for GI Bleeding Compared to Warfarin

Posted 13 May 2014 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: The FDA recently completed a new study in Medicare patients comparing Pradaxa to warfarin, for risk of ischemic or clot-related stroke,  bleeding in the brain, major gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, myocardial infarction (MI), and death. The new study included information from more than 134,000 Medicare patients, 65 years or older, and found that among new users of blood-thinning drugs, Pradaxa was associated with a lower risk of clot-related strokes, bleeding in the brain, and death, than warfarin. The study also found an increased risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding with use of Pradaxa as compared to warfarin. The MI risk was similar for the two drugs. Importantly, the new study is based on a much larger and older patient population than those used in FDA’s earlier review of post-market data, and employed a more sophisticated analytical method to capture and analyze the ev ... Read more

Related support groups: Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Dabigatran

Doctors' Groups Issue New Guidelines on Treating Common Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 28 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 – Reduced use of aspirin and the addition of three new blood thinners as treatment options are among the recommendations in updated guidelines to manage a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, which is a major risk factor for stroke. According to the American Heart Association, atrial fibrillation involves rapid and disorganized electrical signals that cause the heart's two upper chambers – the atria – to contract rapidly and irregularly. Symptoms can include rapid and irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, fatigue or chest pain. Atrial fibrillation is not a fatal condition, but it can increase a person's risk of stroke five-fold. That's because atrial fibrillation allows blood to pool in the atria and form clots, the AHA said. One study published in November at the AHA's annual meeting found that ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Coumadin, Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Eliquis, Ecotrin, Rivaroxaban, Bayer Aspirin, Bufferin, Jantoven, Apixaban, Dabigatran, Low Dose ASA, Aspergum, Buffered Aspirin, Ascriptin Enteric, Aspir-Low

Warfarin Safe for Kidney Patients With Irregular Heartbeat: Study

Posted 4 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 – People with chronic kidney disease who take the blood thinner warfarin to treat a form of irregular heartbeat are at no greater risk for stroke or death than similar patients who don't take the medicine, researchers report. The Swedish study involved more than 24,000 people diagnosed with heart disease and atrial fibrillation, a common and dangerous form of irregular heartbeat. In atrial fibrillation, blood pools in the heart's chambers, raising the risk for stroke. Researchers led by Juan Jesus Carrero of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm examined the link between treating atrial fibrillation with a blood thinner and patients' kidney function. The study, published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that taking warfarin was associated with a lower one-year risk of death, heart attack or stroke combined, without ... Read more

Related support groups: Coumadin, Warfarin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

Blood Thinners Now Recommended for People With Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 – People with an irregular heartbeat should take blood thinners to reduce their risk of stroke, an updated American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guideline recommends. Taking these drugs is especially important for people with irregular heartbeat who have already had a stroke or mini-stroke, experts say. Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) is a major risk factor for stroke because it causes blood to remain in the heart's upper chambers, according to the AAN. The blood can then form clots that can escape the heart and travel to the brain and cause a stroke. About 5 percent of people with untreated atrial fibrillation are likely to suffer a stroke within the next year, the neurology group pointed out. Blood thinners (anticoagulants) are highly effective in preventing strokes, but may cause bleeding and should be used only under close medical supervision, ... Read more

Related support groups: Xarelto, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Eliquis, Rivaroxaban, Dabigatran, Apixaban

Living a Full Life, Irregular Heartbeat and All

Posted 10 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 10 – Lawrence Schmelz spent a lot of time in the gym keeping his body fit – up to two hours a day, every day, at age 50. But that changed one morning six years ago when the Rockville, Md., resident woke up with the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include the feeling that your heart is racing or skipping a beat, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, fainting and fatigue, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "You can feel it in your chest," Schmelz said. "I knew right away something was wrong. It felt like a muscle spasm, and my heart was racing. That morning was the first time I ever noticed it." Schmelz called his doctor's office, and they asked him to come in right away. After an electrocardiogram (EKG), a test that measures the heart's electrical activity, showing how fast it's beating ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

Warfarin May Up Stroke Risk in Those With Irregular Heartbeat: Study

Posted 19 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 – Many older Americans take the blood thinner warfarin to help guard against heart trouble. However, a new study suggests use of the drug is tied to a temporary spike in the risk of stroke for people with a common heart rhythm disorder. People with the irregular heart beat known as atrial fibrillation had nearly double the odds of suffering a stroke in the month after they started taking warfarin, compared to similar patients who weren't taking the medication, researchers report. The findings seem counterintuitive, since many people with atrial fibrillation are placed on warfarin to help lessen their odds for a stroke, the researchers noted. However, prior studies have suggested that there may be an initial period of heightened risk after people move from other drugs to warfarin. Patients who are new to warfarin might also experience a temporary state of ... Read more

Related support groups: Coumadin, Warfarin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

Studies Suggest Better Approaches to Staying Clot-Free

Posted 19 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 – Genetic testing could help better guide doctors' use of warfarin, new research suggests. The blood-thinning medication is widely used to prevent stroke and heart attack in people with irregular heartbeats. Warfarin is a popular medication, but a tricky one to use, the researchers said. Patients who receive too strong a dose can suffer from unusual and excessive bleeding, potentially coughing up or vomiting blood, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). But doctors who used genetic testing to guide patients' warfarin doses were better able to quickly reach and consistently remain within the drug's therapeutic "sweet spot," according to the study. It was published in the Nov. 19 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and presented Tuesday at the AHA's annual meeting in Dallas. "[Blood-thinning] therapy is difficult and it's associated ... Read more

Related support groups: Coumadin, Warfarin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

FDA Approves Eliquis to Reduce the Risk of Stroke, Blood Clots in Patients with Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation

Posted 31 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

December 28, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the anti-clotting drug Eliquis (apixaban), an oral tablet used to reduce the risk of stroke and dangerous blood clots (systemic embolism) in patients with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem. Atrial fibrillation, one of the most common types of abnormal heart rhythm, is an abnormal, irregular, and rapid beating of the heart in which the heart’s two upper chambers (atria) do not contract properly, allowing blood clots to form in them. These clots can break off and travel to the brain or other parts of the body. “Blood clots in the heart can cause a disabling stroke if the clots travel to the brain,” said Norman Stockbridge, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Anti-clotting drugs lower the risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

New Anti-Clotting Drug Bests Warfarin, Study Says

Posted 1 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 1 – A new anti-clotting drug called apixaban was better than warfarin at preventing stroke in patients with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, a new study found. Data from more than 18,000 patients also found that apixaban was safer overall than warfarin, and tended to cause less bleeding in the skull in patients who faced the highest risk of bleeding. The findings suggest that the current risk scoring systems for tailoring anti-clotting (anticoagulant) treatment to individual patients may be less relevant when using apixaban for patients with atrial fibrillation who have at least one risk factor for stroke, according to the Duke University Medical Center researchers. "The benefits of apixaban are preserved, regardless of the risk score used and regardless of the patient risk category," study author and cardiologist Dr. Renato Lopes said in a Duke news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Coumadin, Warfarin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

More Patients With Irregular Heartbeat Recognize Stroke Risk: Survey

Posted 9 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 – Patients with atrial fibrillation – a heart rhythm disorder – are increasingly aware of the link between their condition and the increased risk of stroke, according to a recent survey. Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that affects about 2.7 million people in the United States. A 2011 survey of more than 500 people with atrial fibrillation found that half of them were unaware they had a fivefold increased risk of suffering a stroke. But the more recent American Heart Association/American Stroke Association 2012 poll of 500 people with atrial fibrillation found that 64 percent knew about this level of increased stroke risk. The improved awareness "is a great step in the right direction," association spokesperson Dr. Patrick Ellinor, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

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