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Why am I on a blood thinner.

25 years ago I had a heart attack and lost about 10% of the muscle in my left ventricle. With the help of meds and clean living I have done well.until about 5 years ago I started having A-Fib.  I have had Cardioversion 6 times (twice in the month of June 2011) I was Cardioveted on June 27. The doctor gave me 2 pills of the drug Multaq on the 29th, and I was released from the hospital that day. I took another Multaq pill the next morning at 9am and had Cardiac Arrest at 1pm. A friend started CPR immediately. I had no heart beat or pulse for over 7 minutes. Paramedics arrived and Cardioverted me again. I was hospitalized and a Medtronic pacemaker/Defribrillator was installed. My Ejection Faction dropped from 40 to 28%.  During the past year I have had two short bouts of A-Fib, but converted on my own.  My Cardiologist put me on Pradaxa.  and he wants me to stay on it. Like Multaq, this drug can have serious side effects, and I want to stop taking it. I have been in sinus rhythm for 3 weeks.  I know the instant I go into A-Fib, and can get to an ER in 10 minues.I understand It takes 24 to 48 hours to develop blood clots. I can start blood thinners much sooner than this. I have two questons: Why would I stay on Pradaxa when I am not in A-Fib?  2nd Question. Is Coumadin safer than Pradaxa?  Thanks, JK333
2 Responses
996946 tn?1503252712
Sorry, but from what I've heard, Pradaxa can be a very dangerous drug.  I take Coumadin and feel it is quite safe.  A cousin of ours started on Pradaxa almost 2 months ago, ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks and almost bled to death.  He's in his late 60's.  He had to have many units of blood but did pull through and is scheduled for an ablation on the 13th of Sept.
612551 tn?1450025775
I take warfarin (generic coumadin) and have for about 15 years.  I discussed changing to Pradaxa with my cardiologist when that drug first came out, I decided not to use it because of cost (warfarin cost about 12 cents a day) and the fact I do well on warfarin, albeit I have to have my blood coagulation tested once a month.  Recently I have seen a lot of "bad news" about Pradaxa including law firm adds looking for new participants in a class action suit, as I understand it...I could have that all wrong.

My cardiologist would not let me stop warfarin even when in NSR.   I had two period each about 1.5 years long when I was in NSR, but I always go back to AFib.  Yes, I too would have preferred not to be on warfarin when in NSR...but my cardiologist was concerned that I might go into AFib while sleeping and go back into NSR when I wake up and not know that I was having periods of AFib.

As said, I use warfarin, noting it too has risks and problems.  For example, even with an INR between 2 and 3, when I got a number of scratches on my right arm due to reaching under some chicken wire around my vegetable garden the wire scratches appear to have caused bleed under the skin, so now I have a number of red spots on that arm.  I expect they will dissolve and are only a cosmetic problem - they are not permanent like my age spots.
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