If you have atrial fibrillation, preventing stroke can be an extremely challenging problem. Especially since stroke prevention has been changing for years. Hence, it will require lifelong attention to avoid it. Ultimately, it is good to know the latest AFib Stroke Medicine options available to you.
Examples of AFib Stroke Medicine
Today, individuals use warfarin (Jantoven and coumadin) to prevent blood clots, which causes strokes. For over 70 years, Warfarin-type drugs were the only anticoagulant options. However, new options are now appearing on the market and they work much differently.
The most recent is a minimally invasive, non-surgical closure of the left atrial appendage. Usually, the left atrial appendage is the area of the heart where clots form. The non-surgical closure is called left-atrial appendage closure (LAAC) in medical terms.
Warfarin Side Effects
Studies recently found warfarin to be effective as rat poison, causing many people to become skeptical of its use to prevent strokes. It is true that at high doses, warfarin can cause fatal bleeding. This is how it kills rodents, as they are small creatures not requiring a lot of the drug to affect them.
In actual people, physicians have determined the proper dose of the drug by testing the patient’s blood to find out how quickly it can form clots. Some patients need constant monitoring and dose adjustments.
Newer medications that are anticoagulant alternatives to warfarin are entering the market. They include Xarelto, Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Savaysa. Unlike warfarin, these new oral anticoagulants, do not require frequent blood testing. They also do not interact with various foods that individuals normally consume regularly.
Although the newer drugs seem to be better AFib stroke medicine than warfarin, the newer drugs are much more costly. Manufacturers sometimes help with the costs, however, most Medicare patients are still unable to afford these drugs. Additionally, these drugs have yet to have generic options, which does not help most elderly individuals who are most at risk for stroke. More times than none, these patients return to warfarin and just go in for regular blood screenings.
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