3 months post ablation follow up and stopping Eliquis in 3 months?!

My EP was happy to inform me that 2 weeks of wearing monitor did not record anything bad. My recovery was tough for the first 2 months - shortness of breath and fatigue. Then one day everything changed as if I never had Afib nor ablation.

I was off Metoprolol and Flecainidine after 1 months and he suggests to stop Eliquis after another 3 months (6 months after ablation) despite the fact that I am 67. He says that as long as I don't have any AF episodes, my blood pressure is normal, cholesterol under control and no diabetes that I can safely stop it with intention to continue with all medications in case of AF episode until I see him again. The risk of stroke is so minute in his words that the risk of bleeding statistically becomes larger?!

I got my life back (so far) hoping that it stays this way.

10 Replies

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  • Good news. The stopping of anti-coagulants though I would imagine will be controversial but you can only go by your EP's advice.

  • Yes, it might be controversial. My EP says that new data is still coming in regarding relatively new anticoagulants like Eliquis. In his opinion chances of stroke are extremely small considering my overall health status. Even some short episodes of AF are not so dangerous since clots need longer time to form. It is important though to watch for "silent" Afibs and he recommends wearing monitor (for 7 days) six months and one year after ablation. He states that preventing other health issues that affect heart condition are probably more important. There are millions of people living with Afib that do not get a stroke from Afib. They get it from high blood pressure, uncontrolled cholesterol etc...

  • Great news! But it's that awkward question: what lies ahead - haemorrhage, clot or no event at all? Not taking an anticoagulant moves one back to being a normal person, and might be too scary for those who like the reassurance that protection from stroke provides. But which looms the largest - stroke or bleed? Your EP says it's the latter for you right now. Which scares you the most? If you see a fatal bleed as better than a seriously debilitating stroke, you can opt for the anticoagulant.

  • I choose to stop Eliquis and change my lifestyle to prevent other issues (high blood pressure, cholesterol...). I have lost 34 pounds in the last few months. I prefer not to be on anticoagulants. If/when the AF returns I will gladly return to Eliquis. I believe that stopping Eliquis six months after (successful) ablation is great incentive to change one's lifestyle that that brings many health benefits.

  • That all sounds good and yes, the positive side of AF is the way it encourages us to live prudently!

  • ThT is what I did - but at the first episode I panicked because I wasn't anti-coagulated - unfortunately it was at the weekend so I had to wait 3-4 days before I could get a script.

    May I suggest you keep some in reserve?

  • Yes, absolutely. Thank you. I have prescription for Eliquis, Fleca and Metopropolol just in case.

  • I'm glad you are happy with the plan and super happy you bare having no AF at present. Forever is a long time and whilst I would not be happy with no anticoagulants I do understand your position. My EP told me the same nine years ago but I elected to stay on warfarin which was just as well when I needed DCCVs at different times since for non AF events. Many EPs do feel that successful ablation does not remove the stroke risk but what is important is your other co-morbidities so presumably yours feels otherwise in your case.

    Enjoy life whatever and don't look back.

  • Thank you Bob. One big positive with his suggestion that I could stop Eliquis is all the conditions that he put which should make me change my lifestyle, watch my diet, exercise so I postpone other medical issues. It is great incentive to be more disciplined. However, he said that ablation is not a cure and that somewhere down the road I might be back on anticoagulants as age takes its toll

  • So glad you are working on the lifestyle thing. He seems to have got your measure!

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