Advice please on whether to take Warfarin even though AF not confirmed by tests

GP 90% sure I have AF even though all tests have been negative apart from a raised pulse, which in itself does not confirm AF. .Attacks have been fairly infrequent and by the time I reach A & E or GP things are settling down.. I have had ECG, exercise test, blood tests and heart monitor. Also two admissions via A & E.. GP recommends Warfarin even though diagnosis is not confirmed by test results. What does everyone think? I am in such a quandary. I don't want to take Warfarin if I don't need to. On the other hand I want to protect myself from stroke. Any advice would be great. I am so worried about what decision I should make

6 Replies

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  • You can always stop taking warfarin but you can't undo a stroke. If your GP has calculated that you are at risk, this doesn't necessarily include having AF or not. The calculation is done on other factors.. Go on the main AF Association website and check out the stroke risk calculator. If in doubt do it!

    BobD

  • Hi DustymillerI

    I was in exactly the same position as you and while I was waiting for GP to catch it on an ECG I had a TIA so that made our minds up pretty quick! I am always really nervous about starting drugs but on the plus side I can tell you that for me taking warfarin has been easy after an initial period of getting the dose right. As soon as I stabilised I got A self check monitor so I can be sure that Im always in the correct range. This has relieved me of a great deal of worry and enabled me to get on with my life. As Bob says you can always stop taking it if you end up not needing it. Good Luck.

    Deddeottie

  • Dustymiller, Hi and welcome to the forum.

    AF is a very hard one to catch. I have heard your story a thousand times. It starts and you head for the hospital and just about the time they check you in... It stops. There are no tests that will show AF unless it is happening. I have told many to head for the A & E when it starts, even if it's not that bad, just so they can get an ECG while it's happening. Once they have a good ECG they can properly diagnose and treat it.

    It is a good idea to start an anticoagulant if it is suspected that you have AF. The story from Dedeottie is all to common. While waiting for a proper diagnosis, so you can be put on an anticoagulant, either a TIA of Stroke happens.

    I have given the advise that Bob gave you many times... "You can always stop taking an anticoagulant if you don't need it... But, you can't UNDO and STROKE if you did!"

    If you don't want to take Warfarin, there are the newer ones that do not require testing and have a very good record.

    Again, welcome to the forum and keep us up on how it's going. Ask any questions you have and I'm sure someone will jump in with an answer.

    Tim

  • Take the anti coagulant ...better safe than sorry Dustymiller. There are newer drugs than Warfarin I'm on Rivaroxaban now as Warfarin didn't suit me; with newer drugs you don't have to have INR checked ....but chat to your GP ....ask about the pros & cons with them all.

    good luck

    Nikki

  • confirm other people's opinion that warfarin is safe bet. It can however cause problems with what food you eat, alcohol consumption etc., and you have to get used to that. It also means that you need to attend for INR blood test every 2/6 weeks dependant on how regular your INR count is. All that said its better than having a stroke. I decided to make life easier to buy a INR count machine - cost £299 (G.P. prescription covers everything else) and test myself at home when convenient to me. If you go down this path, please feel free to contact as whilst its relatively straight forward it can be a daunting the first time. Best wishes. Beanoj

  • Start warfarine direct is is simple medication but it protects you from risks

    Don't hesitate

    I'm on warfarin since 13 years without any major side effects

    Only keep it monitored on regular basis and live your safe life and as other mentioned you can stop it anytime

    Maitha

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