Alternative Treatment for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Alternative Treatment for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation


Is there an alternative to Warfarin for the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation?

 

Warfarin is highly effective in preventing strokes in patients with AF, resulting in a 64% risk reduction compared with placebo and a 37% risk reduction compared with antiplatelet therapy. However, Warfarin has significant limitations, particularly an unpredictable anticoagulant response and numerous food and drug interactions, mandating regular laboratory monitoring.

Over the last several years, novel oral anticoagulant drugs (NOACs) have been developed. These agents have fewer food and drug interactions and a more predictable anticoagulant effect, thus allowing fixed dosing without the need for laboratory monitoring. The limitations of the NOACs include higher cost, inability to monitor or easily reverse their effects, lack of data for simultaneous use with aspirin and newer antiplatelet agents, and safety concerns in patients with significant renal dysfunction.

 

Please consult a physician for a treatment option that is right for you.