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Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

Question:

Do you take non blood thinning medications for AFib? If so, please share your experience with finding the right medication. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: snowy, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 29

My husband has had AF for 20 years and taken warfarin for blood thinning. In addition these medications/supplements that he takes contribute to blood thinning: Plavix (following heart stents for blockage) and high EPA fish oil supplement. While taking warfarin, we did not discontinue dark green leafy vegetables as advised (because they promote clotting). We attempted to use them regularly, so the INR pro-time didn't fluctuate wildly. The warfarin (Coumadin) required monthly blood tests after the initial adjustment period. It occasionally caused a burst blood vessel in the eye which looked terrible but resolved on its own. There was occasional bruising, probably caused by temporarily having too thin blood, resolved by adjusting the diet or Coumadin (warfarin) dosage. The Coumadin (warfarin) was extremely inexpensive. It was manageable but not as convenient as Xarelto. The doctor switched him to Xarelto a year or two ago. It is not reversible like Coumadin in case of bleeding because it works by a different mechanism. However, it doesn't require periodic testing either. Xarelto is very much more expensive, and we have been able to get samples from the cardiologist. Even though Xarelto is not reversible, my husband has not had any problems with uncontrollable bleeding when he has cut himself or bruised himself. Be aware that vitamin K2 will thicken the blood if taking Coumadin and can be compensated for by taking a higher dose of Coumadin to keep the INR/pro-time within the therapeutic range.

Comment from: Mothersdaughter, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: October 18

My mother who is 83 years old, was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, she also has COPD and thyroid problems in addition to heart disease. She is now on warfarin and has to be monitored with frequent blood draws which is new for her and also she recently has had to stay on her oxygen all the time now. Before, she had good oxygen days and bad oxygen days, but now since the A-fib diagnosis she is short of breath sometimes even on her oxygen. Also, she feels out of sorts, she feels like her mind has been affected in some ways with the A-fib. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this feeling and if you know what causes these problems. I think all of this is just very overwhelming for her and she feels out of control. She discussed these feelings with the doctor's nurse and she told her that all of this is from her A-fib. I am just trying to help my mom out anyway I can so she will have a better understanding of what is going on with her body. Any advice will help! I have looked on several websites and have not really seen any symptoms like what she is experiencing.

Comment from: Big Dennis, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 29

I take medicines for high blood pressure, thyroid, water, heart rhythm, potassium and acid reflux. Being 50 lb. overweight really messed me up!

Medically reviewd by Robert J. Bryg, MD., Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease REFERENCES:

"Atrial Fibrillation Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Feb. 2010. <http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/docs/fs_atrial_fibrillation.pdf>.

"Heart Disease Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Heart Disease." MedicineNet. 30 Sept. 2009. <https://www.medicinenet.com/heart_disease_pictures_slideshow_visual_guide/article.htm>.

Gage, Brian F., et al. "Validation of clinical classification schemes for predicting stroke: results from the National Registry of Atrial Fibrillation." The Journal of the American Medical Association 285.22 (2001): 2864-2870.

Rosenthal, Lawrence, et al. "Atrial Fibrillation." Medscape. 30 Jan. 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/151066-overview#a0104>.

Rosenthal, Lawrence, et al. "Atrial Fibrillation Medication." Medscape. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/151066-medication>.



UpToDate. Patient information: Atrial fibrillation (Beyond the Basics).

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