AF, Warfarin & Stroke

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As we are constantly told. If taking Warfarin, it will stop you from having a stroke. Well it doesn't. This is my story. Yes I do have AF and have already had 3 oblations. Earlier this year whilst at work I wasn't feeling very well and sat down. One of my colleagues didn't like the look of me and went to ask one of the nurses in the clinic where I work to come and have a look. When they came they immediately thought I was having a stroke. Well I couldn't talk for an instance. By the time I went to A&E everything was ok, although I didn't look very well. After the usual tests I was told it's just AF and nothing we can do go home. The only  thing was my  INR was 1.4 nothing unusual there then. In Sept last year again at work I was unwell. I thought I was having either AF or heart attack symptoms. When I got to A&E, I went into see the triage nurse. That's when I had my stroke. Someone up there was looking after me. I lost everything on my right side and my voice. Again my INR was very low 1.3. They said I was very unlucky to have a stroke whilst on Warafarin but that's not how I felt. I'm now on the road to recovery and on Apixiban. How can I trust any blood thinners now. How many others have this happened to? I have also asked the specialist about how you can monitor your INR apart from usual blood tests. I was only getting them every 3 months. I've also had them on a weekly basis, They cannot answer this one. One other point, my heart specialist from a certain London hospital was told about my stroke but there has been a deafening silence. That's the NHS for you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi I was just thinking about this when your comment popped up , do you feel safer on Apixaban ? I was on Rivaroxaban but came of after finding no antidote , but iv heard good reviews about Apixaban and was thinking although my INR is pretty stable at 2.4 - 2.6 etc it affects lots of thing like food etc , it would be good to know what you think , regards Bes
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    • Posted

      Hello Bes. Although there is no antidote yet for the new drugs, they are certainly better than the old rat poison. My INR was usually the same as yours. I would discuss your worries with your doc. Certainly with Apixiban there is no longer any need to get as many blood tests. I just don't have any confidence in whatever one I'm on now. 

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    • Posted

      I had really bad bleeding with Rivaroxaban nose bleeds gums etc it was awful but I heard Apixaban as an antidote? I was rushed into hospital with my gall bladder they wanted to operate but couldn't because of the Rivaroxaban and being unsure I then read more about this drug and it wasn't good , I get checked every week now and try to keep it above 2 , I hope you are well now , Bea

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  • Posted

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. What a story!  Hope you fully recover!
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  • Posted

    I'm just venturing a thought here .... isn't 1.3 / 1.4  a little bit low ?  Weren't your tablets adjusted so as to get your INR a bit higher ?  For example, my therapeutic range for avoiding stroke with warfarin is an INR between 2.0 - 3.0, or maybe even 2.5 - 3.5.   Really sorry to hear you've had the difficulties you outline - the whole thing with ablations etc. seems to be at an exploratory stage &, as we are all different, maybe that explains why some outcomes are successful and others, not.  I hope you'll have better luck on Apixaban.  I myself am thinking about changing to Apixaban/Eliquis, rather than Dabigatran or Rivaroxaban as, from what I read, both of the latter are contra-indicated for kidney & liver.  But it would be interesting to hear what you, & others, think of any of these NOACs, especially if you've had experience of them.

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    • Posted

      Hi. I take rivaroxaban, 20 mg daily. I recently had to have a series of bloids done as liver function tests were a bit out. The blurb in the meds alludes to this as a possible side effect. I have a bit of teeth brushing gum bleeding and bruises tend to be bigger and take longer to go. Otherwise i seem ok and been on them 16 months now. Would like to stop, and hope to at some point after next ablation in two weeks.
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    • Posted

      Hello. Zena 

      Thanks for the post. You are correct, my limits were the same as yours. The problem is what are our levels on the days that we are not tested. Even the docs admit that this is a problem. As for The different treatments everybody is not the same. Some work for some and not others. It is all very confusing.

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  • Posted

    To begin, even if you were on therapeutic doses of warfarin, it is still possible to have to a stroke; however, your INRs, as mentioned by Zena2016 were not therapeutic - thereby increasing your risk of stroke.  I used Apixaban without difficulty with full confidence in its therapeutic efficacy.  Regarding reversal, there is an agent that reverse its affects, but I don't know if it's commercially available yet. MFG

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  • Posted

    Did you have a clot or a haemmorhage stroke?
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    • Posted

      Thanks for clarifying that. I asked because its a fine line with taking blood thinners because you want to prevent clots but not cause a bleed. I have chosen to not take Apixiban anymore as my blood was too thin and l was bleeding from multiple sites and my dad had had a cerebral haemmorhage. A hard decision but l am happy with it. Hope you are on the mend and achieve full recovery.
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  • Posted

    Hi GrumpyPops,

    Sorry to hear of your trauma and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    ?If my home testing device was giving me low INR readings like 1.3 and/or 1.4 I'd be in touch with my Warfarin clinic pronto ! Far too low.

    Didn't you have regular INR blood tests and checks ? Weren't yopu ever told of your theraputic range ? and your INT target.

    ?My theraputic range is 2.0 to 3.0 (others maybe told 2.5 to 3.5) and my INR target is 2.5. If I go outside this range my INR clinic always tweak my dose and review my next test date ... all very closely monitored.

    May the force be with you.

    John

     

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