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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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran

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, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux

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, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Jantoven

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, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Enoxaparin, Fragmin, Clexane, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Innohep, Dalteparin, Tinzaparin, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heparin Flush, 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, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Dabigatran

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

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

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, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Surgical Prophylaxis, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Heparin Sodium, Hep-Pak CVC

Health Tip: Know Your Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Posted 4 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

-- A dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein deep inside the body. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions these potential risk factors: Having had a previous DVT, or taking medication that thickens the blood or promotes clotting. Having had surgery, a broken bone or other injury that affects a deep vein. Having reduced blood flow to a deep vein as a result of inactivity. Typical causes are post-surgical recovery, or taking a long trip that limits your ability to move around. Being pregnant. Being treated for cancer. Having a central venous catheter. Being over the age of 60, being a smoker or being obese. Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Deep Vein Thrombosis - First Event, Heparin, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Recurrent Event, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Knee Replacement Surgery, Clexane, Arixtra, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prophylaxis

How Long Do Patients With Clots in the Lung Need Blood Thinners?

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – People who suffer a blood clot in the lungs with no obvious cause can ward off a new clot with extended use of blood-thinning medications, a new study shows. However, the length of time those blood thinners should be given is unclear, since their benefits wear off soon after use is discontinued, the French researchers found. The clots are called pulmonary emboli, explained one U.S. expert, Dr. Richard Hayes. "Pulmonary emboli are clots in the blood vessels to the lungs that arise from the veins of the leg or thigh," said Hayes, a cardiologist at Lenox Health in New York City. One type of clot is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), often nicknamed "economy-class syndrome" because of cases occurring after long-haul flights. In many cases, Hayes said, there's a trigger – extended bedrest, obesity, recent surgery – for the clot, but in other cases the clots seem to arise ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Pulmonary Embolism, Lovenox, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Pulmonary Embolism - Recurrent Event, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Dalteparin, Innohep

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, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Dalteparin

Blood Thinners OK for Cancers That Spread to Brain, Study Finds

Posted 2 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 – Blood-thinning drugs are safe for treating blood clots in patients with cancer that has spread to the brain from other areas of the body, according to new research. Cancer normally increases a person's risk of blood clots, the study authors explained in a news release from the American Society of Hematology. When a cancer patient develops a clot, a blood thinner – also called an anticoagulant – is often added to the cancer treatment regimen to prevent the risk of blood clots traveling to the lungs. Such a clot can be fatal. However, if cancer spreads from other parts of the body to the brain (called brain metastases), doctors are hesitant to prescribe blood thinners because of concern they might cause bleeding in the head, which is already a risk for these patients, the study authors added. The new findings show that the use of blood thinners in these patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Brain Tumor, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Fondaparinux, Innohep

Most Treatments for Blood Clots Appear Safe, Effective

Posted 16 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 – Almost all the various treatment options for blood clots that form in veins are equally safe and effective, new research shows. In exploring the safety and effectiveness of treatments for such blood clots as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism (blood clot in a lung), Canadian researchers analyzed outcomes associated with eight blood-thinning options, including unfractionated heparin, low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and fondaparinux in combination with vitamin K antagonists. The investigators also examined LMWH with dabigatran (Pradaxa), edoxaban, rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), as well as LMWH alone. After examining nearly 50 randomized studies, the researchers found that unfractionated heparin combined with vitamin K antagonist was associated with a higher percentage of recurrent blood clots over the course of three months than the ... Read more

Related support groups: Xarelto, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pradaxa, Eliquis, Pulmonary Embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Thrombotic/Thromboembolic Disorder, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Venous Thromboembolism, Pulmonary Thromboembolism, Heparin Sodium, Hep-Pak CVC, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Arixtra 10 mg/dose

FDA Medwatch Alert: Heparin Sodium, 1,000 USP Heparin Units/500 mL (2 USP Heparin Units/mL), In 0.9 percent Sodium Chloride Injection, 500 mL by Hospira: Recall - Particulate Matter

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Hospira, Inc. announced a voluntary nationwide user-level recall of one lot of Heparin Sodium, 1,000 USP Heparin Units/500 mL (2 USP Heparin Units/mL), in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, 500 mL, NDC 0409-7620-03 Lot 41-046-JT with expiration date of 01NOV 2015. This action is due to one confirmed customer report of particulate in a single unit. The foreign particle was confirmed by Hospira as human hair, sealed between the tube and the film at the round seal of the unused Administrative Port on the non-print side of the container. Injected particulate material may result in local inflammation, phlebitis, and/or low-level allergic response. Capillaries which may be as small as the size of a red blood cell, approximately seven microns in diameter, may become occluded. Patients with preexisting condition of trauma or other medical condition that adversely affects the microvascular ... Read more

Related support groups: Heparin, Thrombotic/Thromboembolic Disorder, Hep-Pak, Heparin Sodium, Hep-Pak CVC

Pros, Cons to Dissolving Lung Clots: Study

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 – Drugs used to break up blood clots in the lungs may lower the risk of death, but they also increase the risk of bleeding, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from 16 trials involving use of clot-busting drugs called thrombolytics to treat life-threatening clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Despite the drugs' apparent life-saving benefits, the risk of major bleeding, particularly in the brain, remains a concern, experts say. "The study advances our understanding, but is not enough to provide a definitive recommendation for use in all patients," said Dr. Joshua Beckman, director of the cardiovascular fellowship program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the study. The evidence suggests that clot-busting therapy has merit but needs more study to refine the method by which it is given and to whom, added Beckman. What's ... Read more

Related support groups: Xarelto, Pradaxa, Pulmonary Embolism, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Activase, Streptokinase, Cathflo Activase, Abbokinase, Alteplase, Heparin Sodium, Urokinase, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Hep-Pak CVC, Kabikinase, Arixtra 10 mg/dose

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