Although anticoagulant medications have been proven to cause serious bleeding risks, the drugs are still approved as treatments for patients with both paroxysmal AF and persistent AF. However, regardless of that fact, cardiologists are now less likely than before to prescribe anticoagulants for paroxysmal AF patients as opposed to the patients with persistent AF. This information is based on news from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR). At the moment, current guidelines recommend that doctors prescribe anticoagulants for AF patients of both types, says Dr. Jonathan Hsu (University of California, San Francisco).
“We’re finding in real-world practice that cardiologists are prescribing oral anticoagulation less for their paroxysmal atrial fibrillation patients; they’re more likely to prescribe antiplatelet therapy for them as their only means of thromboembolic protection and more likely to have them on no [antithrombotic] treatment at all compared with their patients with persistent atrial fibrillation,” Hsu told heartwire.
Regardless of the fact that the drugs pose a serious thromboembolic risk, he stated that anticoagulant medications are being prescribed at a rate that is 26 percent less often for patients suffering from paroxysmal AF.
“I think this is a wake-up call for us as clinicians, that we really need to consider these two subtypes of atrial fibrillation as [posing] the same thromboembolic risk and treat them appropriately, as the guidelines say,” Hsu said.
Anticoagulants popularly used in treating patients with AF include Warfarin, Dabigatran and Rivaroxaban. Other drugs that were previously used to treat AF include another anticoagulant, Multaq. Multaq is made by Sanofi-Aventis and has been linked to serious side effects including a worsening of the heart condition, liver failure and lung toxicity. It is for this reason that the FDA has recommended that doctors only prescribe Multaq if all other medications fail to work.
If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure or a worsening heart condition after being treated with Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.