Anticoagulation therapy is often recommended for treating atrial fibrillation (AFib), a rapid or irregular heartbeat that can result in poor blood flow. When addressing this condition, one of the primary goals is to prevent major complications, such as a heart attack or stroke. Toward this end, a variety of treatments may be recommended, depending on the patient’s specific diagnosis.
Anticoagulation therapy involves the use of medications to impair the body’s ability to form blood clots. These medications, which are sometimes referred to as blood thinners, can reduce the likelihood that a clot will develop and become lodged in an artery, which can disrupt the blood supply and result in a stroke. While anticoagulants cannot dissolve clots that have already formed, these medications can prevent existing clots from becoming larger.
Some anticoagulants that are commonly prescribed include:
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Apixaban (Eliquis)
- Dabigitran (Pradaxa)
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
Because several medications can be used for anticoagulation therapy, if one does not produce the desired results, a physician may recommend another that might be more effective. There are also clinical procedures that can be performed as an alternative to long-term medication use. One such option is the WATCHMAN procedure, in which a permanent device is used to close off the appendage of the left atrium of the heart, preventing life-threatening blood clots from forming in the area. This may be a good option for patients who are not good candidates for – or who have experienced severe side effects from – anticoagulation therapy medications.
At Florida Medical Clinic – Cardiology and Electrophysiology, Paul Z. Gerczuk, M.D., works one-on-one with each patient to determine which atrial fibrillation treatments are most appropriate for the patient’s unique needs. Dr. Gerczuk takes pride in his patient-centric approach and exceptional bedside manner, using each day as a new opportunity to help his patients improve their health and quality of life.
To learn more about anticoagulation therapy, the WATCHMAN procedure, or any of the other advanced treatments offered by Dr. Gerczuk,
contact Florida Medical Clinic today.
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