Is it safe to stop anti coag. : I have had... - AF Association

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Is it safe to stop anti coag.


I have had sick sinus syndrome causing af for 17 years. Pacemaker in situ. 3rd ablation 10 months ago. Af settled really well now. No episodes for a few weeks.

I have been on bisoprolol for the af. But I have really bad arthritis pain whic is helped by ibuprofen which was forbidden by gp due to anti coags and possible stomach bleed from nsaid.

I have dropped the rivaroxaban as I am not in af so I can take ibuprofen. I will resume if af reappears.

I have found magnesium supplements have been so beneficial in calming my heart. I also take lyrica at bedtime for pain relief

Any advice most welcome. Is there a risk of clots whe not in af.

10 Replies

Not being medically trained I can only comment on what I am concerned about. Did you ok with your doctor that it is alright to stop anticoagulant therapy? The trouble is that AF is so unpredictable, I can be sitting, low heart rate and suddenly for no reason, it will just happen.

Please discuss with you GP.

It's all about balancing risks and your own wishes.

Agree you need to discuss with your gp. There is no right or wrong answer

This is a very individual choice and the only persons who should advise you are your physicians. Current thinking is that AF itself is not the only factor to be considered when dealing with stroke risk.

Please talk to your doctor about your health needs.

It's possibly not safe to stop anticoagulants but is it a good idea to take them? I had doubts. I think we are all - and that's people who don't have AF as well - at risk from clots and and we are all also, to a lesser extent, at risk from haemorrhages, either spontaneous or accidental. Life is full of dangers but amazingly loads of people manage to live on into extreme old age, many of them on so much medication that they have to take one of those shopping baskets on wheels with them to collect it from the pharmacy. My current feeling (and I am quite willing to admit that not many will agree with me) is that I am more interested in short term gains now than in my long term health. I didn't expect or hope to live as long as I have and don't feel entitled as I have already had years of life that the rest of my family didn't get. I feel looking after my eyesight and mobility comes ahead of being nice to my heart. As the others have said, have a discussion with your GP about what path ahead gives you the quality of life you'd like.


There is no science which indicates that successful ablation removes stroke risk . In fact many of us have no intention of ever stopping as af may still be present although "silent" as well as the fact that ablation itself changes the atria in such a way as to make eddy currents more likely. The choice is always yours but don't make it out of ignorance.


Bob is right how many of us had accidental diagnosis of AF? Some may say all at risk of stroke I agree but some conditions heighten the risk AF being one whether medicated for it or not. Read all about it and make informed decisions in consultation and with advice from medics

Can't you apply the nsaid externally to the areas of pain ? I have been doing that for last 7 years since put on warfarin and it has worked well for me.

songbird74 in reply to Mike11

I've been told that external application of ipuprofen still gets into the bloodstream and should not be used - although I suspect an occasional use won't harm

Polski in reply to songbird74

I think ibuprofin can promote AF, but as only a small amount gets into the bloodstream this way it is probably a very minor problem. More important is the fact that it is not in the stomach, and so a bleed in the digestive system from it is much less likely.

Either AF or the effects in the heart of an ablation (as Bob says) can result in a blood clot forming, which can then travel to the brain causing a stroke at any time, even when the body is not in AF.

You could try reading 'Say No to Arthritis' by Patrick Holford. He includes many possible strategies for dealing with arthritis. I find decreasing added sugar (not sugar contained in fruit) as much as possible also decreases the pain. Eating any kind of fish, but especially oily fish helps (but salmon only once a week), and also taking fish oil tablets (This will also help to 'thin' the blood, but there is no way of knowing how much. Vitamin E has a similar effect). Glucosamine and MSM (sulphur) are also helpful, and a turmeric tablet a day will decrease inflammation and therefore pain. All this and more is in the book!

I have also discovered that when horses have arthritis in their backs they are given boron, so more of this may be useful. You can get your mineral status tested - again see the book - and that will tell you if you need more boron. The magnesium is definitely good.

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