Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and You

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Anticoagulation Therapy

Anticoagulation Therapy

af-anticoagulation-therapy

AF increases the risk of stroke by 500%, a five-fold increase. It is imperative that an AF patient classed as ‘at risk’ is prescribed anticoagulant medication to inhibit the coagulation of the blood.

Anticoagulation therapy reduces the risk of clots and stroke. Any risk of AF-related stroke will have been assessed following your diagnosis, depending on your ‘CHA2DS2-VASc’ score. It is likely (especially if you are over 65 years old) that you will have been advised to take an oral anticoagulant. Your doctor will assess your personal risk of stroke, using a scoring system called the CHA2DS2 – VASc.

The scoring system is used to assess whether anticoagulation medicine is required. Treatment is recommended when your score is two or more, however in some instances treatment may even be recommended with a score of below two. Your doctor will decide your personalized treatment plan depending on your AF-related stroke risk.

Anticoagulants will not reduce or take away any symptoms of AF as they do not treat AF. Anticoagulants are prescribed to prevent blood clots from forming inside your heart and to reduce your risk of having an AF-related stroke.

It is important to understand the effect of an anticoagulant on your body to ensure you receive the best therapy to suit you. It is also very important that you take your anticoagulant as prescribed by your doctor whether or not you are experiencing symptoms of AF. Thanks to a number of medical advances, there are more anticoagulant options available than there were a few years ago. They all help to prevent the risk of AF-related stroke by slowing down and reducing the formation of blood clots.

Your doctor will work with you to find the right therapy, taking into account your individual risk of AF-related stroke, any other medicines that you might be taking and your medical history. Anticoagulant therapy options currently available for reducing the risk of AF-related stroke can be divided into two groups; Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs).

For more information about anticoagulation therapy and specific medications, visit our website here: www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/booklets

Watch video: Professor A. John Camm – Atrial Fibrillation Anticoagulation Questions

Watch video: Dr Nicholas Tullo - Atrial Fibrillation and Anticogulation

Content on HealthUnlocked does not replace the relationship between you and doctors or other healthcare professionals nor the advice you receive from them.

Never delay seeking advice or dialling emergency services because of something that you have read on HealthUnlocked.