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Better Treatment Might Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Strokes

Posted 9 days ago 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, Jantoven

Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Posted 10 days ago 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, Eliquis, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Rivaroxaban, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ecotrin

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, Eliquis, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Norgesic

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, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Jantoven

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, Edoxaban, Savaysa, Dicumarol, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Miradon, Anisindione, Arixtra 10 mg/dose, Arixtra 7.5 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, Enoxaparin, Fragmin, 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 5 mg/dose, Dicumarol

Aspirin Often Wrongly Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – More than one-third of U.S. patients with the abnormal heartbeat atrial fibrillation who need a blood thinner to prevent strokes aren't getting one, researchers say. About 40 percent of "a-fib" patients deemed at moderate to severe risk of stroke because of age or other conditions are prescribed aspirin alone rather than recommended blood thinners such as Xarelto (rivaroxaban) or warfarin, according to a new study. "Despite clear guideline recommendations that patients at risk for stroke that have atrial fibrillation should be given blood thinners, many of these patients are not prescribed these potentially lifesaving medications," said lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Hsu. He is an assistant professor of medicine, cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at the University of California, San Diego. Another heart specialist agreed. "Aspirin is not an anticoagulant ... Read more

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

Irregular Heartbeat May Be Deadly in Car Crash

Posted 10 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 – Having the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation might be risky if you get into a car accident, a new study suggests. Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat. Researchers report the condition is linked to higher chances of dying if you're in a crash, although their study didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. "Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, and incidence is rising. Many of these patients are on anticoagulants to lower their stroke risk, but these drugs increase the chance of bleeding," said study author Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. However, "we should not jump the gun and advise patients with atrial fibrillation to stop driving. This was a retrospective observational study and needs to be confirmed by further research," he said in an European ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Arixtra, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Fondaparinux, Edoxaban, Savaysa, Arixtra 7.5 mg/dose, Bivalirudin, Iprivask, Dicumarol, Acova

Women Less Likely to Get Blood Thinner for Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 8 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 – Among people with the common heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, women are less likely than men to receive blood-thinning drugs, a new study reveals. Blood thinners are important for people with atrial fibrillation because they help prevent stroke. Atrial fibrillation causes an irregular heartbeat. In people with atrial fibrillation, blood doesn't move from one part of the heart to the other as it should. Instead, the blood can pool and may clot. If a clot travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke. Blood-thinning drugs can help keep clots from forming, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. For the study, researchers reviewed data from nearly 1,600 people with atrial fibrillation. Among these patients, 55 percent of women were taking blood thinners, compared with 61 percent of men. "The irony is that women have a ... Read more

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

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, Xarelto, Arrhythmia, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Reversal of Dabigatran

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, Eliquis, Excedrin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Norgesic

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, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Reversal of Dabigatran

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, Emergency Contraception, Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Hot Flashes, Coumadin, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Xarelto, Premarin, Pradaxa, Postcoital Contraception, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Eliquis, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Lovenox, Vagifem

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