New drugs against warfarin

I know this question has been asked before, but how many are on the new drugs? I would love to know the outcome of these drugs as I want to come off warfarin as they cannot tell me conclusively if I have AF but have stuck me on warfarin anyway. I am fed up with the diet aspect and also the bloods taken every week as my INR is up and down like a yo yo. Can anyone tell me what these new drugs achieve versus warfarin? Do you have to be checked? Do they cause bleeding etc etc? I do not know what it feels like to go into AF as at 72 all i have ever had is a pulpation now again, but have had chest pains (which felt like indigestion) and rushed off to hospital, but nothing showed up after all the cardio tests an stress tests i have had done plus its not angina.

12 Replies

  • The NOACs don;t need regular INR testing although there is some suggestion that the ;patient should have regular check ups for other things I seem to recall reading recently. Against this there are currently no antidotes for the drugs although a major bleed could be treated with transfusions as the drugs have a very short half life. Personally I have no problems with warfarin and made no allowances for it within my diet other than not eating broccoli which I don't much like anyway. Nor am I keen on taking new drugs with no antidote but understand that for those people who have trouble maintaining a level INR they are a godsend. Latest information is that only about 3 % of anticoagulation patients are on the NOACs as it seems doctors or CCGs are looking at cost saving rather than convenience.

    Hope that helps


  • I was on Warfarin because I have AF and my INR readings were very unstable, going from 1.1 to 6.3 for no apparent reason we could discover, having tests 2-3 times a week! My doctor decided to put me on Rivaroxaban and so far after 7weeks all is well with no obvious problems. What a relief not to spend all my time being tested! I do not seem to bruise any more than being on Warfarin. Discuss this with your Doctor and he will explain any problems there might be with the NOACs.

    Best wishes and hope you get sorted.


  • You don't need to be checked and I have been on Dabigatran for 8 months and fine. I have read some reports that question whether or not you need to be tested because of some variability in efficasiousness, however, no such test that i know of exists at present. I am tested for kidney function annually and that is it.

  • Good question Dottilind, will watch the replies you get with interest as I'm in the same position as you with my INR results all over the place.

  • Thanks to you all I will try and find ut from my doctor about these other meds. many thanks. Dot

  • Hi, I have been on a new anticoagulant, Rivaoxaban for 16 months, no side effects to date. Blood tests at one month, 2 x 3 months now six monthly and that is because I have a vigilant GP. They check liver and kidney function and if showing any issues drop the daily dose from 20mg to 15mg per day.

    I do not have any other monitoring, no diet restrictions. I just pop a tablet once a day, with food and largely forget about it thereafter.

    I am happy to take it, well as happy as anyone can be taking a drug. I did lots of research on warfarin and each of the new NOAC's and in conjunction with my original cardiologist, EP and GP decided on Rivaoxaban.

    On balance, unless I suffer adverse effects somewhere down the line, I will stick with it. Only time will tell. I have never taken warfarin so cannot comment on the drug.


  • Went on Rivaroxaban for 6 weeks, no problems, handy to stop 48 hrs before if you need dental treatment. Stopped as AF stopped and noticed small blood on stools from haemorrhoids.

  • I have been on warfarin twice, not a good experience for me, put on Riveroxaban by cardiologist ( his suggestion ) and so far had less problems than I had on warfarin or aspirin. I have had less bleeding than when I took nothing and very little bruising. Now my only worry is if it is working, have to worry about something don't you?

  • Hi. I have been on warfarin for five weeks (settling. Well , )I had choice of either but GP said others are. Still new and they don't know long term affects , so felt happier to choose warfarin . Good luck in whatever you choose

  • Warfarin is not my preferred way forward but my GP feels that I would be asking for trouble with anything without an antidote. Although my INR results are all over the place, they have never been higher than 3.5, so he feels warfarin will provide sufficient protection, even if levels drop down a bit now and then. We discussed self monitoring and he seemed in favour, especially in view of the challenges of winter travel. It will take me a while before I grasp the nettle and fork out £300 for something I really don't want to have.

    He mentioned that the expensive bit of warfarin is not the pills nor the testing but the software that calculates the dosage. Once a surgery has paid up, presumably the more patients that make use of it, the more the shared cost decreases.

  • Hiya Rellim,

    I like your last paragraph - that about the size of it. When I lived in Surrey my whole practice was equipped with Coaguchek testing devices and the practice not only encouraged a patient to get their own if they were prepared to stump up the cost of it but provided help and support to the user too. Now I'm living in Cornwall my practice draws blood from the arm and sends it away .... I've been monitoring this using my own device and have found twice the results to be wanting and the practice has had to review the results - and give me an apology. The apology - couldn't care less - I just want people to do the job corrrectly not just first time but all the time :-) Interestingly the Cornish practice does give me the test strips on NHS !

    Aussie John

  • I think my practice will do the same. I find warfarin such an imprecise thing. We know venous and fingerstab results can differ. I pointed out that I was taking an extra 1mg twice a week - one the day before my INR test. Did this have any effect? Not really, said the nurse. It evens itself out over the week. Thus where are you? On the way up or on the way down? And this expensive software gives me a new dose of 8 9 8 9 9 8 9. What's wrong with something logical like 8 and 9 on alternate days? Or, why, as my INR was 1.8 last time and my dose has gone up by only 2mg in the week, am I not taking 9mgs a day and see how close to 2.5 that gets me? And then all you have to do to make the whole thing go totally pear shaped is is visit someone and find you're eating fish pie with proper parsley sauce that is bright green.

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