You are at a higher risk of having a stroke if you have atrial fibrillation or AFib. This condition is characterized by an irregular heartbeat, but there are medications that your physician may prescribe to maintain a normal heart rate.
AFib/Stroke Medicine Options
Two types of the most common medications for the treatment of atrial fibrillation are blood thinners and anticoagulants. These medications also help treat blood clots a patient may already have or prevent ones that could occur.
All anticoagulants will increase your risk of bleeding, so you should be mindful of how easily you bleed or bruise.
Monthly blood tests are also required for some types of anticoagulants, such as warfarin, but there are newer coagulants that no longer necessitate these mandatory blood tests. Remeber to talk to your doctor or a professional healthcare provider before you decide to take any form of anticoagulant. He or she will be able to determine which anticoagulant or treatment would work best for you and your condition.
Certain antiplatelets or aspirin can also act as blood thinners. There are also medications that can help to regulate your heart rate or your heart rhythm.
Usually, you should take heart rate-controlling medications before the ones that will control heart rhythm. Heart rate-controlling medications include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and Digoxin.
Beta blockers slow the heart rate so that it is more controlled. Beta-blocking medications include Atenolol, Bisoprolol, and Carvedilol.
Calcium channel blockers as well slow the heart rate by reducing the strength at which the heart muscles contract. Examples of calcium channel blockers include Dilitiazem and Verapamil.
Digoxin is a medication that slows down the rate of the electric currents that are conducted from the atria to the ventricles. Sodium and potassium channel blockers will help to maintain a normal heart rhythm. Both medications slow the electric currents that the heart produces.
It is important to see your doctor before you decide to take any of these medications so that you can get the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
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