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Comparing Blood-Thinners for Atrial Fibrillation

Apixaban [Eliquis] scores highest of all the NOACs, “on the balance of efficacy, safety and cost.” Pharmacy News December 5, 2017 Which NOAC scores highest for atrial fibrillation? New ranking may help guide decision-making Apixaban is the most efficient non-vitamin K oral anticoagulant (NOAC) for treating atrial fibrillation, according to the results of a meta-analysis including 95,000 patients from 23 randomised controlled trial. There’s already a large body of evidence that NOACs are at least as effective as warfarin and…

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FDA: Atrial Fibrillation and New Oral Anticoagulant Drugs

From the US Food and Drug Administration October 2016 Ellis F. Unger, M.D. More than 3 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, a problem with the electrical system of the heart that causes an irregular heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation can produce palpitations, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, weakness, and chest pain, or may occur without symptoms. The main concern, however, is that atrial fibrillation can lead to the formation of blood clots in the heart, which can travel to the brain and…

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Antidote for Pradaxa’s Blood Thinning Side Effects

Idarucizumab, given by injection, appears to stop the effect of dabigatran and allow the blood to clot. Harvard Health Letter –February, 2016 There’s encouraging news for people who take dabigatran (Pradaxa), a newer type of blood thinner that’s had a rare side effect of uncontrolled bleeding during surgery or accidents. In October 2015, the FDA approved an antidote called idarucizumab (Praxbind), which may be able to reverse dabigatran’s blood-thinning effects. Dabigatran was approved by the FDA in 2010 and welcomed…

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Reversing the Effects of the New Anti-Clotting Drugs

Though catastrophic bleeding from the novel oral anticoagulants is extremely rare, the availability of antidotes reassures health care providers, patients, and their families. It changes the psychology of prescribing and tilts the balance more strongly toward the novel agents. Harvard Health Blog –December 9, 2018\6 –Samuel Z. Goldhaber, MD The oral anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin) became available for prescription in 1954. This anti-clotting drug commanded national attention when President Dwight Eisenhower received the drug as part of his treatment following a…

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How Sleep Apnea Affects the Heart

  Researchers estimate that untreated sleep apnea may raise the risk of dying from heart disease by up to five times.   Harvard Heart Letter Published: February, 2013   Poor-quality sleep and heart disease are connected  We’ve all heard stories about super snorers, whose snorts and snores rattle windows and awaken the neighbors. Many of these people suffer from sleep apnea. In this condition, the airway becomes blocked, or the muscles that control breathing stop moving. Either way, breathing stops……

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Low Serum Magnesium and Atrial Fibrillation

Low serum magnesium is moderately associated with the development of AF in individuals without cardiovascular disease.  Circulation: November 12, 2012 Abstract Background—Low serum magnesium has been linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) following cardiac surgery. It is unknown whether hypomagnesemia predisposes to AF in the community. Methods and Results We studied 3,530 participants (mean age, 44 years; 52% women) from the Framingham Offspring Study who attended a routine examination, and were free of AF and cardiovascular disease. We used…

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