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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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Renal Failure, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Kidney Disease, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arixtra, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Savaysa, Edoxaban, Anisindione, Arixtra 7.5 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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran

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

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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Dabigatran, Jantoven, 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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, 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, Excedrin, Eliquis, Clopidogrel, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin

'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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Atrial Tachycardia, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Iprivask, Anisindione, Miradon, Bivalirudin, Acova, Dicumarol, Argatroban, Refludan

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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Lovenox, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Fragmin, Clexane, Enoxaparin, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Dalteparin, Innohep, Heparin Flush, Tinzaparin, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Normiflo, Heparin Sodium, Clexane Forte

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, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Fragmin, Clexane, Enoxaparin, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Dabigatran

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – An estimated one in 250 Americans lands in the hospital emergency department each year because of a medication-related reaction or problem, a new federal study finds. Among adults 65 and older, the rate is about one in 100, the study authors said. Remarkably, the medicines causing the most trouble haven't changed in a decade, the researchers noted. Blood thinners, diabetes medicines and antibiotics top the list. These drugs accounted for 47 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in 2013 and 2014, according to the analysis. Among older adults, blood thinners, diabetes medicines and opioid painkillers are implicated in nearly 60 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. "The same drugs are causing the most problems," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Budnitz. The study doesn't tease out what went wrong. The reasons ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Diabetes, Type 2, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Warfarin, Coumadin, Insulin

Many Atrial Fibrillation Patients Missing Out on Blood Thinners

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Half of patients hospitalized with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation aren't given blood-thinning drugs that reduce the risk of clots and stroke, a new study finds. Atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, puts people at higher risk for blood clots and stroke, researchers from Duke University said. They analyzed nearly 1.6 million admissions for atrial fibrillation at 812 hospitals across the United States over five years and found that only 46 percent of patients received blood thinners at discharge. "This low rate of [blood thinner] use in hospitalized patients highlights an important opportunity to improve care in atrial fibrillation patients," said study co-author Dr. Sean Pokorney, an electrophysiology fellow at Duke School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. The patients in the study were 40 and older, stayed in the hospital for at least ... Read more

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

Gene Test May ID Chemo Patients at Risk of Clots: Study

Posted 1 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – Genetic testing could help identify breast cancer patients at high risk for the formation of blood clots in their veins, new research suggests. This problem, called venous thromboembolism (VTE), is a serious and potentially fatal complication that can occur during cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy. Because breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, breast cancer patients account for a large number of cancer-related VTE cases, said study author Judith Brand. She's a postdoctoral researcher in the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Venous thromboembolism is preventable through treatment with an anti-clotting drug. But side effects, such as bleeding, mean this therapy is not routinely used in patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers explained. The new study included more than ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Cancer, Warfarin, Coumadin, Breast Cancer, Xarelto, Prostate Cancer, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Heparin, Melanoma, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra

Irregular Heart Rhythm Patients May Not Always Need Blood Thinners: Study

Posted 18 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2016 – People with an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation typically take powerful blood thinners to prevent strokes. But, some patients who have implanted pacemakers or defibrillators may not always need the drugs, a new study suggests. Those who suffered only short bouts of atrial fibrillation – estimated at 20 seconds or less – were at no more risk for stroke or other heart complications than people without atrial fibrillation, the researchers found. "Some patients have atrial fibrillation 100 percent of the time, while others might have only a few seconds of atrial fibrillation once a year," explained study author Dr. Steven Swiryn. He's a clinical professor of cardiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. "Where atrial fibrillation only happens rarely and lasts a short time, it can be difficult to detect," ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arixtra, Jantoven, Fondaparinux, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Savaysa, Edoxaban, Arixtra 7.5 mg/dose, Anisindione

Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Cholesterol-lowering statins can interact with other drugs prescribed for heart disease. But there are ways to navigate the problem, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Statins are among the mostly widely prescribed drugs in the United States. Roughly one-quarter of Americans age 40 and up are on a statin, according to a 2014 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drugs are prescribed to people who either have atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) or are at risk of it, which means many statin users also take other cardiovascular drugs, the heart association says. The benefits of those drug combinations will generally outweigh the risks, said Barbara Wiggins, a clinical pharmacy specialist in cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. But doctors and patients should be aware of how the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Amlodipine, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Diltiazem, Atorvastatin, Norvasc, Pravastatin, Verapamil, Amiodarone, Digoxin, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Zocor, Azor, Lovastatin, Exforge, Multaq

Some Increased Bleeding Risk Seen With Blood Thinner Xarelto Vs. Pradaxa

Posted 3 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 3, 2016 – The blood thinner Xarelto may pose a slightly greater risk of serious bleeding than Pradaxa in patients with the abnormal heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, new research suggests. Most patients with the condition take a blood thinner to reduce the risk of stroke. Although these drugs help prevent stroke, they can also cause uncontrollable bleeding, which can be fatal, the researchers said. Two newer drugs – Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Pradaxa (dabigatran) – are replacing the older drug warfarin, a medication that is notoriously difficult to monitor. Which of these newer drugs is safer, however, hasn't been proven, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers behind the new study. "There are now several new oral anticoagulants and we don't have a lot of studies that compare one to the other," said Dr. Rita Redberg. A professor of cardiology at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Reversal of Dabigatran

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