We’ve posted a new FAQ and answer about the risks of anticoagulants and three alternatives to taking them.
“I have A-Fib, and my heart doctor wants me to take Xarelto 15 mg. I am concerned about the side effects which can involve death. What else can I do?”
You are right to be concerned about the side effects of Xarelto, one of the new Novel Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs). Uncontrolled bleeding is the primary risk (patients have bled to death in the ER.)
Be advised: No anticoagulant will absolutely guarantee you will never have a stroke.
All anticoagulants are inherently dangerous. You bruise easily, cuts take a long time to stop bleeding, you can’t participate in any contact sports; there is an increased risk of developing a hemorrhagic stroke and gastrointestinal bleeding. (Most EPs are well aware of the risks of life-long anticoagulation.)
Anticoagulants cause or increase bleeding. That’s how they work. To decrease your risk of blood clots and stroke, they hinder the clotting ability of your blood. But, they also increase your risk of bleeding. But in spite of the possible negative effects of anticoagulants, if you have A-Fib and a real risk of stroke, anticoagulants do work.
What Else Can You Do? Remove the Reason for an Anticoagulant—Three Options
The best way to deal with the increased risk of stroke and side effects of anticoagulants is to no longer need them. Here are three options…<…continue… to read my full answer…>