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Atrial fibrillation alternative treatment

23 May 2012 Patients with atrial fibrillation can now be offered rivaroxaban (Xarelto), as an alternative to warfarin, in order to reduce their risk of stroke and blood clots, says NICE.

The advice comes just two months after NICE also approved dabigatran for the same condition.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition that affects the heart causing it to beat irregularly, and occasionally, too fast. When this happens, the heart cannot pump blood around the body efficiently.

People with AF are at higher risk of developing blood clots and subsequent stroke. The risk of stroke can be significantly reduced by using anticoagulants such as warfarin.

While warfarin is typically used for preventing strokes, some patients can find it inconvenient due to the careful monitoring and regular blood tests required to ensure that their blood clotting properties remain within normal limits..

Rivaroxaban is an anticoagulant that is taken orally. It stops a substance called Factor Xa from working, which is necessary for the formation of thrombin and fibrin - key components in the formation of blood clots.
 

Written by Dr Martin Harris, Private GP in London.
 

 


Written by Dr Martin Harris, Doctor and Mohel for Jewish Circumcision Clinic in London Bris Mila Brit Milah.

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