Anticoagulants Other Than Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation
What To Think About
Taking anticoagulants safely
Do not stop taking your medicine without talking with your doctor first.
Take extra steps to prevent bleeding problems such as:
- Prevent falls and injuries.
- Tell your doctors about all other medicines and vitamins that you take.
- Know what to do if you miss a dose of anticoagulant.
- Before any surgery or medical or dental procedure, talk to your doctor about whether you need to stop taking dabigatran for a short time beforehand.
Dabigatran and rivaroxaban work differently from warfarin to prevent blood clots. So some of the precautions and safety tips for these newer anticoagulants are different from those for warfarin. Just as with warfarin, you need to take extra steps to prevent bleeding. But with these newer medicines, you do not need regular blood tests, and you do not need to watch how much vitamin K (found in many vegetables) you eat or drink.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Reference Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. You might have regular tests to check how well your kidneys are working.
Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine