Anticoagulants Other Than Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation
Why It Is Used
Your doctor may recommend an anticoagulant based on your risk of having a stroke. If you are age 55 or older and have atrial fibrillation, you can find your risk of stroke using this Reference Interactive Tool: What Is Your Risk for a Stroke if You Have Atrial Fibrillation? Reference
Dabigatran and rivaroxaban are newer medicines than the anticoagulant medicine warfarin. Warfarin has been used for many years to help prevent stroke in people who have atrial fibrillation. If you are thinking about taking a newer anticoagulant instead of warfarin, talk with your doctor to see if it is right for you.
Reasons why you might take dabigatran or rivaroxaban include:
- You cannot take warfarin safely, such as not being able to keep a safe level of warfarin in your blood (INR).
- You have side effects from warfarin that are hard to live with.
- You do not want to have to get regular blood tests and watch how much vitamin K you eat. Both are needed if you take warfarin.
You cannot take dabigatran or rivaroxaban if you have heart valve disease, an artificial heart valve, or severe kidney or liver disease.
- Opens New Window Atrial Fibrillation: Which Anticoagulant Should I Take to Prevent Stroke? Opens New Window
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine