Keeping a stroke at bay is a major issue that demands ongoing, diligent attention for patients with AFib (atrial fibrillation). So, it is of utmost importance to understand the nuts and bolts of stroke prevention, with ever-changing methods of treatment.
Treatments for Stroke AFib
The most prevalent medication in use for the treatment of AFib and stroke prevention is , which has been in use for almost a century. Medicines such as have been the primary option in the department of blood thinners for a while. Though, today, there are numerous new drugs available to those with AFib and a high risk of stroke.
is highly effective in lowering the risk of a stroke, but it can also potentially lead to life-threatening levels of bleeding. Determining the correct dose of the medication for any given patient is paramount because, while many patients can continue on the same dosage, others need their dosage modified very frequently.
works on the heart to circumvent the formation of blood clots. It can also affect other parts of the body, however, increasing the risk of bleeding or bruising easily. A small cut while on an anticoagulant like may not lead to intense bleeding. However, the medication can contribute to major bleeds in the stomach, brain, kidneys, or bladder.
The use of needs to be closely monitored and adjusted if necessary. Here are a few tips that can help in maintaining optimal blood levels.
- Consume sufficient and set amount of foods containing vitamin K, as vitamin K plays a role in clotting
- Monitor blood levels upon being placed on a new medicine
- Disclose the use of any other nutritional supplements or vitamins you are taking as they can interact with
New Anticoagulants for Stroke/AFib Prevention
There are currently four new blood thinners that are prescribed as an alternative to ; these are , , , and . As opposed to , these blood thinners are oral medications that do not require close monitoring through blood tests and are not affected by other foods or supplements.
The unfortunate news is that despite the financial aid offered by some drug companies, most patients are unable to bear the cost of these new medications. These medications do not have generic versions available. This is why some patients end up having to go back on .
There is also a danger of bleeding attached to the use of these new medications. These medications are prescribed so that they can stop clot formation in the heart, but they do not always just target the problem. There is only one anticoagulant that comes with a remedy that can reverse bleeding, known as idarucizumab.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ alexmillosPosted on May 5, 2023