Do most afib patients need to stay on blood thinner forever?

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I have a very good friend that was diagnosed with Afib 4 months ago.  She has had her heart put back in rhythm 3 times so far.  She is 63 years old and is currently taking Eliquis and a heart regulator. The next step for her is ablation if her heart goes out of rhythm again.  Her cardiologist wants her to stay on the meds for 6 months, then re-evaluate. Is it likely or unlikely that she will need to stay on the blood thinner?  I have done some reading online, but cannot find anything in relation to continuing or discontinuing the blood thinner.  What is general protocol in terms of someone with Afib continuing with a blood thinner to prevent blood clots throughout life?  I deeply care about my friend. How many Afib patients are able to go off the blood thinner?

Thank you in advance for taking time to reply.

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  • Posted

    My iPad keeps crashing, so really short answer is it depends on your friend's 'chads' score.

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  • Posted

    Yes Simons right..hope the ipad is sorted.. depends on your risk factors. 

    Chads is a scoring system to assess them. For AF If I remember correctly the risk factors are older age, diabetes 2, hypertension, TIA's, previous heart attack history, think thats it. No another one... being overweight I think obese

    Depending on the score your risk of a stroke rises quite steeply with with any combination of these. 

    I'm on anti-coagulants for life now but one of the new anticoagulants Dabigatran for which I'm grateful. Keeping my INR at the sutable level proved difficult with Warfarin.

      

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  • Posted

    Hi I have had AF for a number of years without knowing until 2 years ago at first I did not want to take a blood thinner,but have now been on them for over a year,and I would strongly recommend then,with my other meds I have been very well.
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  • Posted

    As previous responders have said, it depends on her chads score. Being female, over 65 and having been diagnosed with afib r risk factors that increase the score. Her doctor would be able to give her her best advice.  

    As ive mentioned before, predaxa is the only one of the newer blood thinners that has a reversal/antidote.  Hopefully, the others will come out with one soon.

    There is is an excellent piece on utube from UCSF about afib which is extremely informative.  It's almost an hour in length but well worth the time to watch it if u have utube. I highly recommend it for anyone with afib.  

     

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  • Posted

    Pradaxa reversal can cause fatal clots and strokes as warned by the FDA. It's important to read all of the information on these NOAC,s and not just assume they are safe. some of us need to take the for life but I for one am trying to find natural ways to thin my blood as the side effects from  long term usage are not yet known. Air you want really good info on AF READ ARTICLES BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE IT. Two excellent sites are Afibbers and Stopafib.

     

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    • Posted

      Many prescribed drugs have risks and side effects attached. Extensive research / testing does take place before drugs are approved for use and released onto the market - a heavily regulated and legislated area for most countries.

      The question for individuals being whether the sometimes infinitesimal to small risks associated with them are outweighed by the benefits gained. If the side effects are unacceptable the simplest solution is to to stop.

      Not to take them at all is I suggest a riskier strategy!  

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    • Posted

      I totally agree about the risks of blood thinners being much less than the risk of a stroke. All the doctors also seem to agree   
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    • Posted

      There are countless cases of harm being caused by the NOACS and currently many lawsuits taking place in the States. It,s a personal choice to take or not to take and I would not advise anyone either way. It is clearly stated in the advice from the makers of Eliquis that stopping the drug can cause you to have a stroke. For myself I would not have started the medication had I been told this in the first place. I have said previously I suffered a life threatening PE while taking Xarelto and I certainly don't consider that a tiny risk. We would be foolish to assume these drugs are benign. I called Bayer and Bayer who manufacture the drug and they were loathe to engage in any conversation with me. I still take Eliquis but I am researching other ways to alter the viscosity and stickiness of my blood.Hopefully one day we will find a cure for this nasty affliction.

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    • Posted

      Hi buddah. 

      I just joined this discussion. Wondering how your journey has been. Let me know if your still active on this forum. 

       

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  • Posted

    THINK ITS THE STANDARD PROTOCOL..NOT SURE IF YOU ARE ALSO ON ARRYTHMICS AND IF YOU HAD AN ABLATION OR SOME OTHER PROCEDURE. VERY INDIVIDUAL BUT YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING BEEN TOLD ONLY GET WORSE UNTIL CANNOT REVERSE
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  • Posted

    Depending on age and other risk factors. She will be on blood thinners as long as she is diagnosed with afib. She may have episodes she is unaware of, and blood thinners decreases her

    Chances of having a stroke. I had an ablation 2 weeks ago. I will be on eliquis until my 3 month checkup and most likely even after that because I am female, 69, overweight by 75 lbs, hypertension. Those risk factors will keep me on blood thinners even if I don't have any more afib. Chances are an ablation is not 100 o/o cure. Hoping it is.

    Good luck to your friend. A lot of people manage afib very well. Make sure she keeps her dr. Appointments and has a good cardiologist.

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  • Posted

    I am learning a great deal about afib.  I so appreciate the feedback here.  I have a great deal of admiration for anyone dealing with any type of health challenge.  I also have a great deal of admiration for the researchers, doctors and other health care professionals that work to improve procedures and medications to combat such challenges.  My friend has researched homeopathic possibilites, but so far the only thing that is really helping her to manage her condition are the meds.  

    Thank you guys for helping me understand the protocol.

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  • Posted

    It's difficult to assess. Everyone experiences AFIB differently. I get it 4-6 times a month. Rapid and chaotic heart rate,severe chest pain, dizziness and nausea, breathlessness and sometimes pass out. I use Flecainide as a PIP and usually lie down or sit quietly somewhere. Sometime a bit hard if you are out and about or at work. I have not gone down the ablation path as yet but that may change. It is important to ask Drs how many ablations the have done and how successful the have been. AYou wouldn't take your car to a second grade mechanic...so don't take your heart to a Dr who hasn't had the experience. Re blood thinners I take Eliqusi as my cardio says it's the safest of the three NOACS. However they all can cause problems. We have to be cautious but do what we think is best for our body.Blood thinners can cause severe and uncontrollable bleeding. Untreated AFIB can cause devasting strokes. I experienced a PE whilst on Xarelto.?? Eat well, get plenty of rest, keep well hydrated. Some of the things that have helped me are Magnesium,Taurine, and Potassium. Mag and Taurine calm the heart.Check it all out on the great site started by Hans Larsen. There is a wealth of very good information from sufferers some who have had great success in controlling their AF. Good Luck.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Buddah

      I as you know have been on blood thinners for over a year,I was given to understand that once on them you really should not come off of them,I take warfain and attend the INR clinic now every 6 to 8 weeks,to begin with it does take some time to get to the correct range and you may need to go to the clinic each week,but this is far better than having a stroke.

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    • Posted

      Pauline, ask your doc about the newer blood thinners that don't have any dietary requirements and don't have to be monitored like warafin. I have done a great deal of research on the newer drugs and I am on Pradaxa which is the only one of the newer drugs that has an antedote like warafin and does not have to be monitored. 

      Yes, there is a risk of bleeding as with all of the blood thinners, but the risk of a stroke is greater. 

      i know people that have been on predaxa  for years with no problem. I've been on it about 8 months with no problems so far -- and I pray that continues since because of my age and the fact that I'm a female and have been diagnosed with afib, I will be on it the rest of my life.  Another factor for me is that I have NO symptoms of afib so I don't know when I'm in it or not, so I need to stay on the blood thinner. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Suzanne,My GP was not happy to give any newer drug as he considered that these have not been tested enough yet.When you say that you have no symptoms of afib you mean you have no fast heat beat and pounding in your chest,do you know why you were given a blood thinner!
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    • Posted

      I was diagnosed with afib after wearing a holter monitor for 24 hrs.

      Because of that, my age and being female puts me at greater risk for stroke ; therefore necessary for blood thinners.

      I think u should consult with a cardiologist vs your GP about the newer blood thinners.

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    • Posted

      I too had some reservations about warfarin V new blood thinners.

      My cardiologist quite pro new thinners, my brother who is an A&E doctor and   His wife who is a pharmacologist were both pro warfarin as they both thought they hadn't been tested enough. 

      I did a lot of Googling and had a couple of lengthy conversation with my cardiologist and ended up going with Eliquis/Apixaban.

      For me it was the convenience of Apixaban (no regular blood tests, and having to monitor my diet for foods high in vitamin K).

      It is true that Newer blood thinners aren't reversible like Warfarin, but at the same time, my understanding is that they are out of your system fairly rapidly as well once you stop taking them (compared to warfarin).

      I switched over to warfarin for my ablation afew months ago for my ablation and hated it! Found it hard to get and maintain my levels and was very glad to be back on Apixaban post op.

      I think Suzanne is right, your cardiologist would have a better idea about this area of medicine than your GP.

      My cardiologists was OK for me to be warfarin; he just thought it would be an extra hassle. Also, I'm relatively young(50), and would be at pretty low risk of having a major bleed.

       

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    • Posted

      Simon, As I've mentioned before, predaxa does, in fact, have a reversal/antedote. It is the only one of the newer blood thinners that does. The docs say the other newer ones will be coming out with a reversal hopefully soon.  I would go back to eliquis if it had a reversal. 

      While im here, does anyone have a solution for the heartburn I'm getting from the predaxa?  I take it with a full glass of water but it doesn't seem to help. 

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    • Posted

      Buddha, I read with insterest your post saying magnesium and taurine are good and calm the heart.  Is it ok to take it with the other medications?  I'm on bisoprolol, Pradaxa, omepraxole and atorvastatin,  the gps don't want to know about supplements do they.  I'd be interested to know whether you checked this out.  Keep well. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Pauline...as far as I'm aware Magnesium and Taurine are both fairly benign but having said that I would suggest you join afibbers group as you can post there and ask the questions. a lot of very knowledgeable people will respond. I am a pill phobic and tho I have a number of chronic conditions I take only Flecainide, Eliquis and occasionally Metrpanol. I have not had a problem with any of the supplements I take. 

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    • Posted

      Late only just read the post..this works for me after horrendous acid.

      basically take first pill in bed with good amount of water..do not eat cereal toast ( carbs) for one to two hours...carry on as normal but confine the bread and bad carbs to the daytime, cakes chips biscuits etc. Experiment with second pill before evening meal during after etc...but no carbs..or minimal like mash boiled potato small rice dish..they swell in the stomach and the acid contained in the pill can not penetrate so comes back up. This is a bit shorthand if you want to discuss please contact. Good luck

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