Chrome 2001
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
. .
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
Health News Health News
Blood Thinners Now Recommended for People With Irregular Heartbeat
February 24, 2014


MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People with an irregular heartbeat should take blood thinners to reduce their risk of stroke, an updated American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guideline recommends.

Taking these drugs is especially important for people with irregular heartbeat who have already had a stroke or mini-stroke, experts say.

Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) is a major risk factor for stroke because it causes blood to remain in the heart's upper chambers, according to the AAN. The blood can then form clots that can escape the heart and travel to the brain and cause a stroke. About 5 percent of people with untreated atrial fibrillation are likely to suffer a stroke within the next year, the neurology group pointed out.

Blood thinners (anticoagulants) are highly effective in preventing strokes, but may cause bleeding and should be used only under close medical supervision, according to the guideline published Feb. 25 in the journal Neurology.

Several new blood thinners have been developed since the last AAN guideline on the topic was released in 1998. These new drugs -- such as dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis) -- are at least or more effective than the established drug warfarin and are less likely to cause bleeding in the brain, the new guideline states.

In addition, patients taking the new drugs don't have to undergo the frequent blood tests required by those taking warfarin.

The guideline also says that new blood thinners may be used in many patients with atrial fibrillation who have typically been excluded because they are elderly, have mild dementia or have a moderate risk of falls.

"Of course, doctors will need to consider the individual patient's situation in making a decision whether or not to use anticoagulants, and which one to use, as the risks and benefits can vary for each person," guideline lead author Dr. Antonio Culebras, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, said in an AAN news release.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about atrial fibrillation.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, Feb. 24, 2014...

More News
InteliHealth .
General Health News
Today's News
Today In Health History
This Week In Health
Addiction News
Allergy News
Alzheimer's News
Arthritis News
Asthma News
Babies News
Breast Cancer News
Bronchitis News
Cancer News
Cervical Cancer News
Children's Health News
Cholesterol News
Dental/Oral Health News
Depression News
Diabetes News
Ear, Nose And Throat News
Environmental Health News
Eye News
Fitness News
Genetics News
Headache News
Health Policy News
Heart Attack News
Heart Failure News
Heart Health News
Infectious Diseases News
Influenza News
Lung Cancer News
Medication News
Men's Health News
Mental Health News
Multiple Sclerosis News
Nutrition News
Parkinson's News
Pregnancy News
Prostate Cancer News
Senior Health News
Sexual/Reproductive Health News
Sexual dysfunction
Sleep News
STDs News
Stroke News
Tobacco Cessation News
Weight Management News
Women's Health News
    Print Printer-friendly format    
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.