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Could a Common Blood Thinner Lower Cancer Risk?

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2017 – A pill widely taken to prevent heart attack and stroke may also guard against cancer, new research suggests. Warfarin is an inexpensive blood thinner. It's typically prescribed for patients whose leg arteries are prone to clots and for patients with the abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. Now, Norwegian investigators say it may also protect against any type of cancer and from prostate, lung and breast cancer, in particular. Lower colon cancer risk was also reported, but only in people taking warfarin for A-fib, according to the study. The findings don't prove that warfarin reduces the risk of cancer, cautioned lead researcher James Lorens. "This is an observational study using data on more than 1.25 million people 50 and older from Norwegian national registries, and cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship," said Lorens, a professor of biomedicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Breast Cancer, Heart Attack, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Myocardial Infarction, Jantoven, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Blood Thinners May Also Protect Brains of A-Fib Patients

Posted 26 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2017 – Blood thinners may pull double duty for people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation: New research suggests they help prevent dementia as well as stroke. Because atrial fibrillation increases the risk for stroke, people with the condition are often prescribed blood thinners (also known as anticoagulants) to prevent blood clots that can cause a stroke. Atrial fibrillation also increases the risk for dementia. During the study, more than 26,000 of the 440,000 participants, all with atrial fibrillation, were diagnosed with dementia. At the time they joined the study, about half of the participants were taking oral anticoagulants, such as warfarin, Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Savaysa (edoxaban) or Xarelto (rivaroxaban). The researchers found that people taking anticoagulants were 29 percent less likely to develop dementia than were those ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Xarelto, Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Alzheimer's Disease, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arixtra, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Fondaparinux, Savaysa, Bevyxxa, Dicumarol

Blood Thinners Can Come With Dangerous Side Effects

Posted 3 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 – Blood-thinning drugs can save your life by preventing a heart attack or stroke caused by artery-blocking blood clots. But these are powerful drugs, and a pair of new studies detail side effects people need to understand before taking them. The effectiveness of a class of blood thinners called nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) can be significantly altered through interaction with other drugs, the first study reveals. In some cases, these drug interactions increase a person's risk of life-threatening bleeding in locations such as the brain and gastrointestinal tract. In other cases, the NOACs' effectiveness is reduced, robbing patients of some protection against stroke and heart attack. "NOACs alone do not pose a significant risk of bleeding, but the concurrent use of NOACs with certain drugs that share the same metabolic pathways may cause increased risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Lipitor, Atorvastatin, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Digoxin, Biaxin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, MY-E, Prevpac, Caduet, A/T/S, Arixtra, Benzoyl Peroxide/Erythromycin, Biaxin XL

Genetic Testing May Help Make Warfarin Safer

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Genetic testing can improve the safety of the blood thinner warfarin, a new study reports. Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) is often prescribed to prevent life-threatening blood clots in high-risk patients. However, a patient's genes can influence how warfarin is processed in the body. Too little warfarin will not prevent blood clots while too much can trigger internal bleeding, the researchers explained. Warfarin is "a widely used anticoagulant, but it causes more major adverse events than any other oral drug. Thousands of patients end up in the emergency department or hospital because of warfarin-induced bleeding. But we continue to prescribe it because it is highly effective, reversible and inexpensive," said study first author Dr. Brian Gage. He is a professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers said they ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Knee Joint Replacement, Hip Replacement, Diagnosis and Investigation, Jantoven, Coagulation Defects and Disorders

Undiagnosed Heart Condition 'AFib' May Be Common, Study Suggests

Posted 26 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 26, 2017 – Many people at risk for atrial fibrillation probably do have the irregular heart rhythm but have not been diagnosed, a new study reports. Nearly 1 out of 3 patients in the study had undetected atrial fibrillation that was caught only through the use of long-term cardiac monitor implants, researchers say. Based on these results, it's likely there's probably a lot more undetected atrial fibrillation among seniors, said lead researcher Dr. James Reiffel. He's a cardiologist and professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. "Continuous monitoring of such patients, as we did, can detect otherwise unsuspected AF, which can lead to treatment before complications arise," Reiffel said. "When monitored for 18 months, almost one in three patients had AF detected, as did 40 percent by 30 months." Atrial fibrillation involves ... Read more

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

Nurses Learn How to Get Patients to Say 'Yes' to Blood Thinners

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – Online training for nurses increased hospital patients' use of medication that can prevent potentially deadly blood clots, a new study reveals. Nurses sometimes won't give the blood thinning drugs if patients don't want them. So researchers developed the training to teach nurses how to respond when patients say they don't want to take blood thinners. The study included more than 900 nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After the online training, the number of patients who refused to take prescribed blood thinners dropped from 12.4 percent to 11.1 percent, the findings showed. "We teach in hopes of improving patient care, but there's actually very little evidence that online professional education can have a measurable impact. Our results show that it does," study senior author Dr. Elliott Haut said in a Johns Hopkins news release. Haut is vice chair ... Read more

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

Are Many A-Fib Patients Getting Wrong Doses?

Posted 5 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 5, 2017 – Nearly one in six Americans who takes newer blood thinners for the heart rhythm problem atrial fibrillation may not receive the proper dose, a new study suggests. A-fib is a common condition, marked by an irregular and often rapid heart beat. It's associated with a fivefold increased risk of stroke, but blood thinners reduce that risk. Many a-fib patients also have kidney disease and need a lower medication dose than others, the study authors said. "Dosing errors of these blood-thinning medications in patients with atrial fibrillation are common and have concerning adverse outcomes," said lead author Xiaoxi Yao, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Moreover, "the number of patients using these drugs has quickly increased since the introduction of this new class of drugs in 2010," Yao said in a Mayo news release. The researchers looked at nearly ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Renal Failure, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Kidney Disease, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arixtra, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Savaysa, Dicumarol, Reversal of Dabigatran, Arixtra 10 mg/dose

Better Treatment Might Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Strokes

Posted 15 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – Hundreds of thousands of strokes might be prevented in the United States each year if more people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation took blood-thinning medications, a new study estimates. Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to quiver instead of beating normally. This causes blood to pool and possibly clot, according to the American Heart Association. If one of those clots breaks free, it can go to the brain and cause a stroke. "Though not a life-threatening rhythm abnormality per se, atrial fibrillation can be associated with devastating life-altering consequences, namely disabling stroke," said one expert, Dr. Nicholas Skipitaris. He directs cardiac electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Unfortunately, too few people are getting the treatment for "a-fib" that they need, the new study found. Taking blood thinners might ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin

Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Posted 14 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Blood thinners are often prescribed to prevent strokes in people with the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. But a new study suggests these drugs may also help keep dementia at bay. The researchers said that the key is to start blood thinners, such as warfarin, soon after atrial fibrillation is diagnosed. That's true even for people at low risk of a stroke who wouldn't normally be given blood thinners. "We found that people who are on warfarin – the most common blood thinner used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation – experienced very low rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Dr. T. Jared Bunch. He's director of heart rhythm research at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Atrial fibrillation is a common heart abnormality that affects nearly 3 million American adults. ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Dementia, Eliquis, Alzheimer's Disease, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Rivaroxaban, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Apixaban, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Pradaxa Beats Warfarin After Heart Rhythm Procedure: Study

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Patients undergoing a surgical procedure to treat an irregular heartbeat are less likely to suffer problematic bleeding when given the blood thinner Pradaxa rather than warfarin, a new study finds. The two blood thinners were evaluated in a study of more than 600 patients. All had a minimally invasive procedure called catheter ablation to correct the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation. The risk of having a major bleeding event among patients taking warfarin (Coumadin) was about 7 percent, whereas the risk among those taking Pradaxa (dabigatran) was just under 2 percent, said lead researcher Dr. Hugh Calkins. "It's an absolute risk difference of 5 [percentage points], or a 77 percent lower risk," said Calkins, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "I think this will change practice," he said. ... Read more

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

Many With Irregular Heartbeat Not on Meds They Need: Study

Posted 14 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – Many people with an irregular heartbeat who suffer a stroke may not have been on medications that might have prevented their stroke, a new study suggests. Duke University researchers found that 84 percent of stroke patients with the heart condition known as atrial fibrillation (AF) had not been getting adequate clot-preventing therapy. Dr. David Wilber, a cardiologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, called the findings "sobering." "This emphasizes the fact that probably the most important cause of stroke in AF patients is under-anticoagulation or no anticoagulation," said Wilber, who is also editor-in-chief of the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. Study lead researcher Dr. Ying Xian agreed. "We estimate that the vast majority of these strokes could have been prevented if patients had the appropriate anticoagulation," said Xian, an ... Read more

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

Study Tracks Bleeding Risk From Common Blood Thinners

Posted 28 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 – Blood thinners can help prevent dangerous clots, but they also come with risks for excess bleeding. Now, new research shows that use of the medications does boost the odds of "subdural hematomas" – bleeds occurring within the skull and near the brain. And some blood thinners carry higher risk than others. The Danish research team stressed that the results don't mean patients who need blood thinners should avoid them altogether – just that their data adds to decisions around their use. "The present data add one more piece of evidence to the complex risk-benefit equation of [blood thinner] use," wrote a team led by Dr. David Gaist, of Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark. Despite the bleeding risk, "it is known that these drugs result in net benefits overall in patients with clear therapeutic indications," the study authors added. ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Plavix, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula

'Ablation' Procedure Helps 3 out of 4 Patients With Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 25 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 – Just how successful is the procedure called catheter ablation at fixing irregular heartbeats that can be potentially fatal? Pretty successful, a new study found, but there are caveats. Burning or freezing specific areas of the heart can alleviate the common irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation in 74 percent of patients. However, the procedure doesn't work for everyone and there are risks of complications, researchers report. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of early death by two times in women and 1.5 times in men. It causes 20 to 30 percent of all strokes and can decrease quality of life due to palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness and psychological distress, the study authors explained. About 2.7 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association. For those whose atrial ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Arrhythmia, Pradaxa, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Atrial Tachycardia, Dicumarol, Angiomax, Lepirudin, Iprivask, Anisindione, Miradon, Bivalirudin, Acova

One-Third With Atrial Fibrillation Don't Take Blood Thinners

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 – Many people with the heart condition known as atrial fibrillation stop taking the blood-thinning medication that's prescribed to help prevent a stroke, a new study reveals. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that causes the heart to quiver. This raises the risk of blood clots and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. People who've had a medical procedure such as cardioversion (electrical shocks to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest) or ablation (using heat, cold or radio energy to scar heart tissue via catheter or surgery) to help manage their condition were even more likely to ditch their prescribed drugs. "We don't know if changing the heart to a normal rhythm, by either cardioversion or ablation, always removes the risk of stroke," said study author Dr. Geoffrey Barnes, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin, Jantoven, Innohep, Heparin Flush, Tinzaparin, Clexane Forte, Ardeparin, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Normiflo, Heparin Sodium

Pradaxa Blood Thinner May Beat Warfarin After Bleeding Episode: Study

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Use of a blood thinner is routine for many heart patients, but these drugs come with a risk of episodes of excess bleeding. What, if any, anticoagulant (blood thinner) should these patients take after such episodes arise? A new study suggests that the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) may be a better choice than the standby drug warfarin in these cases. The reason: Pradaxa is less likely than warfarin to cause recurrent bleeding in patients who recently suffered a bleeding stroke or other major bleeding event, the researchers found. "Our results should encourage clinicians to seriously consider resuming anticoagulation among patients who survived a major bleeding event, particularly if the source of bleeding was identified and addressed," said study senior author Dr. Samir Saba. He's associate chief of cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Heart and ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovenox, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin, Jantoven

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