Not prescribed Warfarin - AF: I wanted to... - AF Association

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Not prescribed Warfarin - AF


I wanted to share an experience of a family friend who although was diagnosed with AF was not prescribed Warfarin (although he was prescribed with aspirin - not sure if that would have helped) and he later had a stroke. I was curious to see if it is common for a patient to not have been prescribed Warfarin after being diagnosed with AF. It would be interesting to hear if this has happened to a number of people.

19 Replies

Hi NasserArif

Regrettably still all too common, either they prescribe no anti-coagualnt whatsoever or they rely on aspirin, despite NICE guidelines which state that neither is acceptable and that every patient must be CHADS2VASC scored and the result discussed with them.

We've heard some very distressing stories on the forum, of people who have had TIAs and strokes either when on aspirin, or without an anti-coagulant.

And of course we never hear from those who suffer a worse fate.

The AFA have been magnificent at promoting anti-coagulants, but even now I think the latest estimate is only 50% of those who SHOULD be on them are.

Be well and Anti-coagulate


It is quite surprising to hear that around 50% of patients are not on anti-coagulants when they should have been. The after effects can be devastating.

in reply to NasserArif1

Yes I think that was the latest estimate, I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong there.

in reply to Beancounter

UK has one of the lowest percentage of at risk patients on anticoagulants in Europe. Why do you think I bang on about it so much!

If you 'plan' to have a TIA have it in Oxford! They refused to let me out of the hospital until I agreed to take Warfarin. That was 6 years ago.In my ignorance I was reluctant to take W.c also had had AF for a couple of years. A lucky escape you might say.


I have had AF for 7 years now and was only ever told to take asprin. I have a stroke in January and apparently on scan showed I had had one previously as well. Luckily I am doing very well now only occassionally muddle the odd word so I guess it could have been so much worse. I know take xarelto

So hopefully will keep me protected.


Glad to hear that your recovery has been progressive. What kind of symptoms did you suffer as a result of your stroke and for how long?

Hi I lost feeling in right side and speech. Got to hospital in hour and had clot busting drug and by evening speech was a lot better feeling had returned as normal. Took a while for speech muddled a few words and still an odd word when tired.


I was on aspirin but that was later changed to warfarin. Dr thought it safer. I'm due to have radioactive iodine in the next month or so hopefully and once my thyroid is defunct I can stop taking warfarin and beta blockers etc.

I was diagnosed with AF in 2002 and put on Aspirin. Then in 2012 I had a TIA! As Bob says Aspirin is as much good as a chocolate fire guard!!

It is very worrying that Aspirin is still being prescribed for AF.

Take care everyone and have a calm, happy weekend.


In 2015, I would have thought there was justification in discussing a medical negligence claim with a specialist legal firm if you suffered an AF related stroke after your GP/cardiologist put you on aspirin instead of an anti-coagulant. Unless there were good reasons of course and these had been properly explained to you. Current guidelines are clear and if your medic is not up to date, he/she really shouldn't be practising unsupervised.

Better still of course, don't let it reach that stage. Insist on Anticoagulation Now!

Thanks interesting as when I saw consultant afterwards all he kept saying I was at low risk and no other consultant would have had me on blood thinners.


Let me clarify....I'm not saying everyone should be on anti-coagulants (as long as I am!) but what would be very wrong is for a medic to prescribe aspirin as an anti-coagulant. That's my point.

Sure, if you really are at low risk, prepared to accept that even with the enhanced risk of stroke associated with AF and in the knowledge that stroke is the No 2 killer of mankind in this world.......then the decision to take them or not is entirely yours Robert. And I do mean 'yours', not your consultant's.

I totally agree and I have that knowledge now did not before and just accepted recommendation for asprin. I will now never not take a anticoagulant.


Good for you Rob. Now all we want is a tablet that reduces the risk of developing cancer by about 70%.

Mind you, there would still be those who'd rather take magnesium.....

Only joking everyone!!!!!!

I have just started magnesium recently and very early days but have gone from AF attack every Week to not having one for four weeks so fingers crossed.

Yes. you really mustn't upset the magnesium groupies

We have something that reduces the risk of cancer by perhaps more than 70% - it's called an ashtray - the place where you stub out your last cigarette!

Hi, when diagnosed with PAF in A&E last year the doctor put me straight on aspirin but when finally saw consultant and with chads result of 1 I was advised warfarin and went away to think it over for few weeks, then decided to take it, feel much safer now (although hate fortnightly blood tests, because my inr all over place of late) ?? But nervous about new anticoagulants, so plodding on until my veins give up lol

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