When do you need a blood thinner? - AF Association

AF Association

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When do you need a blood thinner?


Hi , I am a 41 year old male with an enlarged heart and paroxysmal afib. I have also had afew episodes of wide complex tachycardia and fainted. My concern is that everyday when I do a little exercise or put out in any way , or working I go into afib for 5 to 20 mins . I am wondering if I should be in a blood thinner ? I Don't see a Cardiologist until April 26th so that is to much time in-between to wait for an answer. Would anyone have some suggestions? I am on atenolol 4x a day at 50mg .Thanks for your time 🙏

6 Replies

The doc tells me that paroxysmal afib carries the same risk of stroke as persistent afib. Clots can form in the heart and then they may stay in the heart, or dissolve before they can escape. If they do escape they may dissolve before causing a stroke or heart attack (if you're lucky.) The anticoagulant either prevents clots from forming or dissolves them before they can cause a problem. I resisted anticoagulants until I had a TIA (temporary mini stroke) when I couldn't lift my left arm for 5 minutes. I started taking the Dabigatran after that. Make sure you get your kidney function tested first. Of course, diet etc makes a difference as well.

Fryguy....may I point you towards my post re my recent stroke, which occurred because my Cardio didn't want to prescribe anti-coagulants for me.


The thread is full of people in similar situation to me. Scary...


Whilst I understand your concern, under current guidelines unless you have other health issues you may find difficulty getting your doctor to prescribe anticoagulants.

What you can do is google CHADS2VASC2 and work out your own risk rating. Just be totally honest and remember that say for blood pressure even if it is normal because you take pills for it you still need to count it.

I’ve also had paroxysmal a fib for several years (had an ablation 3 months ago and no episodes since then!). My a fib would last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours but mostly I’d have short episodes of less than an hour. My EP advised against blood thinners as my stroke risk was low because it takes days of being in a fib for a clot to form.

wilsond in reply to Rw12

A note of caution ,it can happen that a clot can form in hours not days. It was on a thread on here....

I would take an anticoagulant. Like Vince 1001, I've had a stroke. Because I was a cardio fit gym bunny, an EP said I didn't need to take an anticoagulant. I had a stroke 18 months later. When I came home to our small bungalow where we had lived for 26 years, I didn't know where the bathroom was or how to find it. I permanently lost part of my peripheral vision and that meant my driving licence was revoked at a time when the DVLA Medical Group were blocking tuition to regain a licence. It could have been worse. I featured in a video for the makers of Pradaxa, but unfortunately it was only circulated to clinicians in the UK and USA. It would have been much better that it was accessible to everybody as a warning.

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