3. “I take atenolol, a beta-blocker. Will it stop my A-Fib.”
Not usually. Beta-blockers like atenolol, in addition to calcium channel blockers, and digitalis compounds are all rate-control medications. They attempt to control your heart rate (ventricular beats), but leave your heart in A-Fib. “In fact, these (rate control) drugs, which are quite valuable in achieving ventricular rate control, have not been shown in placebo-controlled studies to restore sinus rhythm.”
However, we all react somewhat differently to meds. A drug that doesn’t work for one person may be very effective for another.
If you are under the impression that atenolol or other rate control drugs will stop your A-Fib, it might be wise to check with your doctor or get a second opinion.
Alpert, Martin A. “Medical Cardioversion of Atrial Fibrillation” Chest 2000;117:1529-1531, Last accessed Dec. 29, 2012: https://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1078918
Return to FAQ Drug Therapies
Atrial Fibrillation patients often search for unbiased information and guidance about medicines and drug therapy treatments. These are answers to the most frequently asked questions by patients and their families. (Click on the question to jump to the answer.)
11. “I am on Coumadin (warfarin) to thin my blood and prevent A-Fib blood clots. Do I now need to avoid foods with Vitamin K which would interfere with the blood thinning effects of Coumadin?” UPDATED
12. “The A-Fib.com web site claims that an A-Fib stroke is often worse than other causes of stroke. Why is that? If a clot causes a stroke, what difference does it make if it comes from A-Fib or other causes? Isn’t the damage the same?“
16. “I have to be on aspirin for stroke prevention. Which is better—the low-dose baby aspirin (81 mg) or a high dose (325 mg)? Should I take the immediate-release (uncoated) or the enteric-coated aspirin?”
17. “I don’t want to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. I’ve had a successful catheter ablation and am no longer in A-Fib. But my doctor says I need to be on a blood thinner. I’ve been told that, even after a successful catheter ablation, I could still have “silent” A-Fib—A-Fib episodes that I’m not aware of. Is there anything I can do to get off of blood thinners?“
21. “I”ve read about a new anticoagulant, edoxaban, as an alternative to warfarin (Coumadin) for reducing risk of stroke. For A-Fib patients, how does it compare to warfarin? Should I consider edoxaban instead of the other NOACs?”
Last updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016