Follow up on unable to take anticoagulants - AF Association

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Follow up on unable to take anticoagulants


As the header states I am unable to take anticoagulants.

Thing is I am making myself I'll with worry. To be honest I am terrified. I don't go outside anymore I just sit and watch TV as I am to scared to do any exercise.

It all started when I was feeling very tired and lethargic. I went to my gp who said after taking my bp my pulse was very slow at 43 BPM. He told me to stop taking the metoporol as he felt it was to strong for me. He put me on bisoporal 1.5mg daily along with the 75mg of aspirin I take due to a heart attack in 2007. He arranged for me to have an ecg two days later which showed AF. Since I stopped taking the metoporol 8 weeks ago I feel much better and my pulse is now regular at 60 BPM. My pulse has never raced at all, I do get a little breathless on exertion but I have COPD and this is normal.

I am very confused. Do I have AF or not or could it of been caused by the metoporol.

At the moment I am on suicide crisis watch by my local mental health team. (They phone me every 2-3 hours)

As I don't know how much more of this I can take to be honest



19 Replies

You don't say why you can't take anticoagulants Roger. Maybe it was mentioned in an earlier post. Is it because of other meds you're taking? And is it the stroke risk that accompanies af that is stressing you? You must tell your gp about your concern. I'm sure af can't be caused by metoprolol, but others may shed some light. Try to stay calm and remember af won't kill you!

Dear Roger, sorry to read that you are very confused and worried - you mention your local mental health team are linking in with you so other issues may be more of a priority for you but hope the following helps to give you some reassurance.

I have AF but with a slow irregular heart rate. My understanding is that AF can affect each of us in different ways -but that keeping active is important. You mention you have other health issues so exercise levels are probably best discussed with your GP. If you haven't seen a Consultant Electrophysiologist your GP should refer you - they will be able to discuss in detail your heart condition/ confirm diagnosis and treatment options and risks of not taking/taking anticoagulants.

I found things very frightening when I first developed an arrythmia but the more I have learnt and with support from others on this site I am leading a full and active life, just a bit slower than I used to be! Wishing you all the best.


To be honest Roger, it is just so difficult to answer a post like your's. I wish that I could talk to you face to face in order to try and help.

I have no concept of just how difficult this is for you and wish I could find the form of words that might help. What really springs out is that you are getting locked into a spiral that you really, really need to break out of. Talking to somebody would probably help but it needs to be you who makes the decision.

What you have to be most frightened of is staying in and just sitting and watching TV. I think that everybody on this forum would agree that this would depress all of us.

I am not qualified to comment on your medical condition. I do know that confining yourself to the sofa is exacerbating your depression and that taking a gentle walk in the fresh air and saying "good morning, how are you" to the first person that you see will be instantly uplifting!

Hi there Roger. Sorry to hear that you are finding things so difficult.

There is something of a tight rope act between clots and bleeds and I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing to be unable to take anticoagulation.

It isn't difficult to get too worried to go outside and my solution was to get a treadmill. I exercise my brain with a mind-stretching game while I'm using it and time goes by really quickly. I got a ticking off at the surgery for depriving myself of the sights and smells of the outside and I do now walk outdoors as well.

Thanks for all your replies.

My problem is I suffer from very severe treatment resistant depression, ocd (health issues, mainly cancer) and (general anxiety disorder).

I am unable to take anticoagulants as the cardiologist said I had a very high score on the has bled scale but a low score of 2.1 on the Chad scale. He decided the risk of bleeding was very significant as I have to take daily aspirin for my stent in my right coronary artery that was blocked of due to a clot when I had my heart attack. Also my blood is unnaturally thin. I am a borderline haemophiliac.

This is all driving me insane, I go to bed every night and pray that I don't wake up again.

Thank you all for listening


Hi Roger,

So sorry to read about your problems. Take it easy mate. Your local health team are

aware and taking care of your psychological situation, your AF has been diagnosed with an ECG and you are receiving meds for your AF. I can't comment as to why you are unable to take anti coagulants but have you discussed your CHA2DS2VASc score

with your GP? You might find (especially if you under 65 years of age) your score is 0

and that alone might alleviate your worry re: stroke risk. It is my understanding that

exercise in what ever form doesn't bring on an AF episode. If you are able with your COPD, a short walk around the block or in your garden taking in the sights and sounds might help you relax. Below is a link to a CHA2DS2VASc scoring system.

All the best to you,let's know how you get on,


in reply to Musetta

Your Chad score chart was very interesting. I cannot take anticoagulants and have an intermittent fast heart beat.

I only clicked on 2 "yes", but still got a score of 2 which seems to be in the danger category. Maybe I am not working it properly. How does the chart operate?

Many thanks and best wishes


in reply to Musetta

Hi Musetta

I did the cha2ds2vasc test and my score was 1. Intermidiate risk but at the top it said "no aspirin use" but I do take aspirin, 75mg daily plus bisoporal 1.5mg daily. How would this effect the risk


Hi Roger,

As clicked my reply to you, I noticed your above reply re: CHAD score etc. I sincerely hope things will improve for you and as I said, take it easy Roger - all the best to you


I'm thinking of you. Stay calm if you can. Have you seen a cardiologist recently or an EP

Two points come to mind Roger. I am not a doctor....1.Are the new NOACs also forbidden to you?and 2.might a small dose of anticoagulant or an NOAC be better than nothing? These are only crumbs of advice and other people may be able to add to this.

Hi Roger - The thing to remember is that you are not on your own with your condition. We all understand and are here to support you at any time. A lot of the members, if not all, on here are putting up with exactly what you are and we know it can sometimes be worrying. The longer you have this condition the more you will come to realise that the worrying is not necessary and if you have AF that it is not going to kill you.

It sounds as though the Metoprolol was responsible making you feel tired and lacking in energy. I'm sure you know that the more you sit, the more tired you will become. How about trying a short walk each morning? I can guarantee that it will perk you up, just start slowly and build up.

There are groups all over the country called, Walking for Health (free) and this would be a good one to join if you like company. They start with short walks and then offer longer ones (always with a first aider). You can either Google it or pick up a leaflet from your nearest library.

Big hug, my friend, so glad you are in our group. One day you'll be advising others on here.



On the chadv2 test I scored 2. It said high risk but then it stated my stroke risk was 2.2 without aspirin. But I do take aspirin. Do you think I am high risk at 2.2 ?


Will somebody reply to me please. I am worried sick

in reply to roger1952

Hi there Roger. What is there that we could say that will help you?

in reply to Rellim296

Would you consider 2.2 to be high risk?

in reply to roger1952

I think these scores may be very misleading as far as reality is concerned. The likelihood of something happening is one thing and what actually happens may be quite different. Some people appear to be in need of anticoagulation because they score on the scale and it turns out that they were in fact prone to a bleed and the anticoagulation was inappropriate. Conversely, people seem to be not at risk and then they have a stroke. The scores are no more than an educated guess based on the average statistics. Take comfort in the fact that men are less likely to have a stroke than women are!

As dedeottie says, you have rather a special situation and perhaps the standard scores do not really apply.

I do hope that your fears will diminish as time goes by. I found Warfarin very frightening when I first took it, absolutely convinced that it was a mistake and I would come to a sudden halt with a haemorrhage. It really felt like taking poison. I take Rivaroxaban now and surprisingly it doesn't worry me at all.

It is a pity that it is so difficult for patients to get an appointment at your surgery.

All the best! Hope you have a good night.

Hi Roger. I have just read that you are a borderline heamaphiliac and as such have unaturally thin bood. I am not a medic and am only giving an opinion but it sounds to me as if you maybe have your own protection against stroke without taking warfarin. I say this because i think this should put your mind at rest and help you relax until you can have this properly talked through by a consultant or an understanding G.P.

I remember when i was first diagnosed that i was really panicky about being anicoagulared so i totally understand how you feel but for now i think all is well and you can relax. However make sure you arrange to see your doctor tomorrow and let us know how you go on. I hope you have a more restful night. X

I have no chance of seeing any gp at my practice till the end of February. It is useless.

I phoned today and spoke to the on call dr who said according to my notes I should be taking 75mg aspirin and 20mg rivaroxaban daily. I told him that the head dr at the surgery phoned me at home and told me NOT to take the rivaroxaban as there was a increased risk of a major bleed. He had discussed the situation with a consultant cardiologist who advised him to stop the rivaroxaban and just use the aspirin and bisoporal as my risk was only 2.2 and the risk of a major bleed far outweighed the risk.

I'm worried out of my mind as it would be easier to see the president of the USA than it is to see the head dr at my surgery.

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