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

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

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, Arixtra 10 mg/dose, Anisindione

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, Enoxaparin, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Jantoven

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, 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, 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, Clopidogrel, Excedrin, 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, Angiomax, Lepirudin, Iprivask, Anisindione, Miradon, Bivalirudin, Acova, Dicumarol

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, Enoxaparin, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Clexane, Arixtra, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Hep-Pak, Jantoven

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk

Posted 21 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Because the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation can trigger stroke-inducing clots, many patients are prescribed a blood thinner. But a new Canadian study suggests that combining one blood thinner, Pradaxa, with certain statin medications could raise the odds for bleeding in these patients. "An increase in the risk of bleeding requiring hospital admission or emergency department visits was seen with lovastatin [Mevacor] and simvastatin [Zocor] compared with the other statins," said study author Tony Antoniou, a pharmacist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 46,000 patients ages 65 and older. All had atrial fibrillation and took Pradaxa (dabigatran) to reduce their risk of stroke. Those who also took either lovastatin or simvastatin had a 40 percent higher risk of bleeding than those who took other statins, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pradaxa, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, 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, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Heparin, Melanoma, Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, Apixaban, Fragmin, Clexane, Arixtra

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

Minorities Less Likely to Get Clot-Clearing Stroke Drug

Posted 14 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – A clot-busting drug known as tPA can greatly improve stroke outcomes, but it isn't given to minorities nearly as often as it is given to white men, a new U.S. study shows. Blacks were 26 percent less likely, and other minority patients were 17 percent less likely, to be treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) than white men, the researchers found. In addition, women were 8 percent less likely to be given the clot buster than men. "It is helpful to get a sense of what factors are associated with not treating patients with this proven therapy," said lead researcher Dr. Steven Messe. He is an associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Although Messe isn't sure why these disparities exist, he thinks "it is possible that this has already improved in more recent years." The drug is given after an ischemic stroke, ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Angiomax, Bivalirudin, Iprivask, Dicumarol, Miradon, Acova, Argatroban, Desirudin, Lepirudin, Refludan, Anisindione

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, Excedrin Migraine, Rivaroxaban, Arthritis Pain, Apixaban, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula

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, Savaysa, Edoxaban, Angiomax, Refludan, Arixtra 10 mg/dose, Anisindione, Arixtra 7.5 mg/dose

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