Navigation Links
Stopping Blood Thinners Raises Stroke Risk for Patients With Irregular Heartbeat
Date:4/25/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- When patients with atrial fibrillation stop taking anti-clotting drugs, their stroke risk goes up quickly, new research finds.

That risk increases about the same whether they are taking warfarin or a newer, more expensive drug, Xarelto (rivaroxaban).

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm in which the upper chambers of the heart quiver or flutter instead of contracting correctly, raising the risk of stroke fivefold. Patients are often put on anti-clotting drugs to ward off stroke.

But some people need to temporarily stop taking anti-clotting drugs before surgery or other medical procedures to prevent excess bleeding, while other patients permanently stop taking anti-clotting drugs because of side effects, researchers said.

Researchers analyzed data from a previous trial including more than 14,000 patients with atrial fibrillation. In that trial, rivaroxaban was found to be as effective as warfarin in preventing stroke and blood clots. Both drugs carried about an equal risk of causing excessive bleeding.

In the new study, researchers concentrated on patients who had stopped taking the drugs, either temporarily or permanently. Regardless of which drug was stopped, the rate of strokes and blood clots went up about the same.

Decisions to halt either warfarin or rivaroxaban should be made carefully, since going off the drugs means the heightened stroke risk associated with atrial fibrillation returns, said lead researcher Dr. Manesh Patel, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.

"All anticoagulation decisions in patients with atrial fibrillation require risk benefit analysis, and for patients and physicians periods without anticoagulation coverage should be minimized," Patel said.

The study was to be presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association Emerging Science Series.

Atrial fibrillation affects more than 2.3 million men and women in the United States and accounts for more than 15 percent of all strokes, said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Anticoagulation therapy reduces the risk of stroke by 60 to 80 percent in patients with atrial fibrillation, Fonarow said.

Yet there are key differences between the older and the new drug, including price and how much monitoring is needed, experts said.

Patients taking warfarin need to have the levels of the drug monitored and adjusted regularly to insure it is being effective and not increasing the risk of serious bleeding, while patients taking rivaroxaban don't require as careful monitoring.

"While the newer oral anticoagulants rivaroxaban and dabigatran (Pradaxa) cost approximately $250 a month compared with warfarin, which costs only a few dollars a month, these new agents have the advantage of not requiring monthly blood draws and providing more reliable anticoagulation," Fonarow said.

Because this research has not yet been published, it has not been subjected to the rigorous scrutiny given to research published in peer-reviewed medical journals and should be viewed as preliminary.

The study was partly funded by Johnson & Johnson and Bayer HealthCare AG, which makes rivaroxaban.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on atrial fibrillation.

SOURCES: Manesh Patel, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; April 25, 2012, presentation, American Heart Association's Emerging Science Series


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Coaching Boys into Men an effective tool for stopping teen dating violence
2. Stopping hormones might help breast cancer to regress
3. Cell signaling key to stopping growth and migration of brain cancer cells
4. Selectively stopping glutathione sensitizes brain tumors to chemotherapy
5. Hand-Washing Key to Stopping Spread of Disease
6. Some States Make Stopping Smoking Easier Than Others
7. Stopping dangerous cell regrowth reduces risk of further heart attacks
8. Stopping Daily Aspirin Boosts Heart Attack Risk: Study
9. ACP commends Congress for preserving patient access by stopping scheduled Medicare SGR cuts
10. Internists issue heartfelt plea for Congress to help patients by stopping Medicare SGR cuts
11. Researchers find new target for stopping tumors developing their own blood supply
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/22/2017)... HOUSTON, Texas (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 ... ... leading network of independent freestanding emergency rooms is celebrating the one year anniversary ... anniversary of our facility opening,” said Dr. Otinwa, Facility Medical Director of First ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... Silicon ... effectively even on the go. Their electric toothbrushes aggressively attack oral bacteria by ... UV sanitizing technology. Combining leading edge Enke technology with a premium timeless design, ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... ... “Letters From Home”: a moving compilation of letters that remind readers of ... Home” is the creation of published author, John Allred, a passionate leader of ministry ... International, who has traveled and ministered on four continents. , “It is my hope ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... create life. Although frozen embryos have a slight statistical advantage for live births, ... is a wonderful opportunity for women undergoing medical treatment or who are concerned ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... With ProSlideshow ... fun and easy to do. Users can select from up to two layers of ... a click of a mouse all within Final Cut Pro X. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed ...   ... Jim Bertolina, ... Tom Tefft ... medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare ... Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , ... hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider ... PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... device used to measure lung function for a variety ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named the official ... Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National ... Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta ... In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up to, and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: