According to a new study that was published online July 16, 2013 in Circulation, more than a third of AF patients who were being treated with anticoagulant medications were also taking aspirin despite the fact that anticoagulants can cause major bleeding events.

The large cohort study showed that those patients taking aspirin as part of a treatment regimen were suffering from some sort of vascular disease and the rest of the patients (33 percent of participants) had no prior history of PCI, MI, cerebrovascular events, or other heart problems that would call for the use of aspirin as a regular treatment.
There are medical guidelines in place to prevent the unnecessary use of aspirin. However, patients that have both AF and CV disease should take aspirin along with their anticoagulants, says senior author Dr. Eric D Peterson, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, N.C., when talking to heartwire. The anticoagulant mentioned in this study was Warfarin.

“We anticipated that some of them would get [aspirin] and some would not, and that’s what we saw in the analysis of >7000 patients with AF receiving oral anticoagulation who were participants in the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT-AF). But there was no apparent pattern to help explain the variation,” Peterson said.

It should also be noted that about 40 percent of the AF patients that who did not have CV disease took aspirin as well as the anticoagulant, despite the fact that the aspirin is not necessary. This is something that Peterson and his team were still attempting to understand.
“In general, if I see a patient in my clinic who has only atrial fibrillation and no other risk factors, they should not be on aspirin, because I know for sure their risk of bleeding is going to be one and a half times what it was before,” he added.

Anticoagulants like Warfarin, Dabigatran and Apixaban are used to treat AF patients. All of these drugs have been the subject of much controversy since they have also been linked to excessive bleeding that can be fatal because it is often irreversible. Other anticoagulant medications have also been used. One of those is Multaq. Multaq has also been linked to serious side effects which include a worsening of the heart condition, liver failure and lung toxicity. These side effects have forced the FDA to issue a recommendation that Multaq not be used unless all other medications have failed.

If you or someone you love has suffered from any side effects linked to Multaq use, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at Multaq litigation and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.