Atrial Fibrillation (Afib), How to Treat It:

Reviewed on 10/23/2020    Reviewed By: James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Determining Treatment for Afib

Treatment for Afib depends on many factors including your age and other medical conditions.

Your irregular heartbeat means blood doesn’t flow as well as it should, and clots may form inside your heart. If one of those travels to your brain, it can cause a stroke. Your doctor may recommend medications but your course of treatment depends on your age, your symptoms and how often they occur, how long you have been in AFib, any other health problems you have, and if you have already had a stroke.

Blood Thinners

Blood thinners help reduce the risk of stroke if you have Afib.

To help lower the chances of clots, your doctor may prescribe a more powerful blood thinner called an anticoagulant, especially if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart failure. The most common is warfarin (Coumadin). It can cut your risk of stroke, but you’ll have to get your blood tested often, and you’ll have to be careful to avoid cuts or other injuries. Some foods can make warfarin less effective, too. If you need a procedure, dental work, or surgery, it might be necessary to stop the blood thinner. It’s important to let all your doctors know you are taking a blood thinner just in case.

Other Blood Thinners

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This article was submitted to MSRN by Pat France, MSRN Volunteer