New Guidelines for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

March 7, 2019

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Matthew Saybolt, M.D. contributes to topics such as Heart Health.

By Matthew Saybolt, M.D.

Many patients in the United States and around the world have atrial fibrillation, also referred to as AFib. This is a condition where there is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

For the past several decades, the main treatment for AFib has been a blood thinner such as Coumadin or Warfarin, which many patients are familiar with. This drug requires frequent blood monitoring and has a lot of interactions with other drugs and foods. For that reason, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recently changed their recommendation. Some of the newer drugs that have been released and are commercially available are now first line for the treatment of AFib.

There are now four new drugs in the market that physicians are very comfortable using and have a lot of experience with that can be safely used to treat patients with A-Fib and prevent stroke. The benefits of these medicines are less interactions with the foods they eat, less interactions with meds they take, and perhaps decreased risk of bleeding with certain medications in certain patients.

If you are interested in learning about new treatment strategies for AFib and new ways to prevent stroke, reach out to your doctor and discuss what treatment option is right for you. Find a doctor by visiting HackensackMeridianHealth.org.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.