Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation
Why It Is Used
Warfarin is used to lower the risk of stroke in people who have Reference atrial fibrillation Opens New Window. Your doctor may recommend warfarin based on your risk factors and on whether you can take warfarin safely. Anything that increases your risk for a disease or problem is called a risk factor. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of 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
Risk factors for stroke include:
- Previous Reference transient ischemic attack Opens New Window or Reference stroke Opens New Window.
- Artificial heart valve.
- Reference Rheumatic mitral valve disease Opens New Window.
- Reference High blood pressure Opens New Window.
- Reference Heart failure Opens New Window.
- Lower than normal Reference ejection fraction Opens New Window.
- Age 75 years or older.
- Reference Diabetes Opens New Window.
- Reference Coronary artery disease Opens New Window.
Warfarin can reduce the risk of stroke in anyone who has atrial fibrillation. Even after your heart rhythm is under control, you may still take warfarin. Some people go in and out of atrial fibrillation without even knowing it. Taking warfarin can lower your chances of having a blood clot or a stroke.
Your doctor may have you take an anticoagulant for a few weeks after cardioversion for atrial fibrillation.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 2, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology