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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

Race May Influence Risk for Irregular Heart Beat

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – There's a strong link between the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation and race, a new study says. Whites with heart failure are much more likely to have atrial fibrillation (AF) than blacks or Hispanics with heart failure, the study authors said. Heart failure is a common risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Heart failure affects 5.8 million people in the United States and more than 23 million worldwide, the researchers said. The researchers reviewed information from more than 68,000 Americans with heart failure. They were between ages 45 and 95. The group included more than 28,000 Hispanics, more than 25,000 blacks and more than 14,000 whites. The risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) was about 23 percent lower in blacks than whites. The odds were nearly 27 percent lower in Hispanics than whites, the researchers found. The study was presented Wednesday at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Left Ventriculography

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, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, 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, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Reversal of Dabigatran

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

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, Atrial Fibrillation, Bactrim, Ischemic Stroke, Flagyl, Bactrim DS, Xifaxan, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Polymyxin B, Septra, Zyvox, Rifaximin, Bacitracin, Metro

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, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arixtra, 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 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, Dicumarol, Anisindione, Miradon, Upper GI Hemorrhage

Device May Pose Dangers for Patients With Irregular Heartbeat: Study

Posted 4 May 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 – Heart surgeons are making regular and potentially dangerous "off-label" use of a suturing device in patients with abnormal heart rhythms, researchers report. Though the Lariat device can be used to tie off a part of the heart that raises stroke risk, it has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this specific purpose. And a small number of atrial fibrillation patients have needed lifesaving surgery or died following this off-label procedure, the study authors discovered. "We found a handful of deaths, and a greater handful in which there was the need for an urgent open-heart surgery to correct a problem" involving bleeding or damage done to the heart during the procedure, said lead researcher Dr. Jay Giri. He is an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in ... Read more

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

Pharmacists Key to Whether Patients Take Blood Thinners

Posted 14 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 – Millions of older Americans are prescribed a blood thinner to help reduce the stroke risks associated with a dangerous irregular heart beat known as atrial fibrillation. A new study finds that even though a large percentage fail to take the potentially life-saving medications as prescribed, the intervention of their local pharmacist might help. In the study, a team led by Dr. Mintu Turakhia, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, Calif., looked at the use of the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) by Veterans Administration outpatients who were prescribed the drug between 2010 and 2012. Pradaxa belongs to a new class of twice-daily oral blood thinners, and it is often prescribed for atrial fibrillation (nicknamed "a-fib"). "The new oral anticoagulants, such as dabigatran, represent the biggest medical change in the delivery of ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Arixtra, Fondaparinux, Jantoven, Savaysa, Edoxaban, Miradon, Anisindione, Arixtra 10 mg/dose, Arixtra 7.5 mg/dose, Dicumarol, Arixtra 5 mg/dose

FDA Approves Savaysa (edoxaban) to Prevent Embolic Events in Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation

Posted 12 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

January 8, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the anti-clotting drug Savaysa (edoxaban tablets) 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 is one of the most common types of abnormal heart rhythm. It occurs when the heart’s two upper chambers (atria) do not contract properly, allowing blood clots to form, which can break off and travel to the brain or other parts of the body. Patients with atrial fibrillation experience an abnormal, irregular and rapid heartbeat. Savaysa also has been approved to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients who have already been treated with an anti-clotting drug administered by injection or infusion (parenterally), for five to ten days. DVT is a blood clot that f ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Pulmonary Embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

Blood-Thinning Drug Savaysa Approved

Posted 9 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 – The anti-clotting drug Savaysa (edoxaban) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of stroke and prevent dangerous blood clots. The drug was approved for people with an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation that isn't caused by a heart valve problem, and for people with blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Such clots can break away and travel to the brain and other parts of the body, the FDA said in a news release. Clinical studies compared Savaysa to the anti-clotting drug warfarin. The newly-approved drug was found as effective as warfarin in preventing stroke-causing clots, but had significantly fewer cases of major bleeding episodes that can affect warfarin patients, the FDA said. Nonetheless, bleeding was recorded as a primary side effect of Savaysa, as was anemia. Savaysa's label ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

FDA OKs New Anti-Clotting Drug for Heart Rhythm Disorder

Posted 9 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 – A new anti-clotting drug to reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots and strokes in people with a type of heart rhythm disorder has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Savaysa (edoxaban) is approved to treat people with atrial fibrillation that's not caused by a heart valve problem. Atrial fibrillation – the most common type of heart rhythm disorder – increases the risk of developing blood clots that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Savaysa pills are also approved to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in people already treated with an injected or infused anti-clotting drug for five to 10 days, according to the FDA. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg or thigh. Pulmonary embolism is a potentially deadly condition that occurs when a deep vein blood clot breaks off ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

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

Posted 12 Dec 2014 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

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