The People's Perspective on Medicine

Patients Walk a Dangerous Tightrope on Blood Thinners

There was a time when warfarin (Coumadin) was the main blood thinner prescribed to prevent clots. Newer anticoagulants include Eliquis, Pradaxa & Xarelto.

Walking a tightrope is tricky business. If you have ever watched video of Nik Wallenda crossing the Grand Canyon on a high wire, you know how scary this can be. A misstep can lead to tragedy. When it comes to blood thinners, a wrong step can also be catastrophic.

Finding the Sweet Spot:

Batters know how important it is to hit the sweet spot: It can make the difference between a home run and a foul ball. Doctors also need to hit the sweet spot when prescribing medications: Too much or too little might spell disaster.

This is especially true for anticoagulant medications. Too little blood thinning activity could allow a blood clot to occur and cause life-threatening damage. Too much anticoagulation could lead to uncontrollable bleeding.

Hemorrhaging While on Xarelto:

Some of our readers have had sad experience with this tightrope balancing act. One wrote:

“My mother was prescribed Xarelto. She was on it for two months, then went to the hospital because of breathing difficulty. She went by ambulance. By the time I saw her again she was in a coma.

“They did abdominal surgery on her and she lost five pints of blood. They had to take her back into surgery and cauterize her arteries. Four days later she passed away from internal bleeding in her stomach and head. Could Xarelto have taken her life?”

The Straight Story on Xarelto:

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is one of the oral anticoagulant medicines that have come on the market within the last decade. It is prescribed to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation. Doctors also use it to prevent or treat a blood clot in the lungs or the veins of the legs.

People who stop Xarelto suddenly may develop blood clots. But research shows that this anticoagulant increases the risk for the kind of internal bleeding that led to the death of our reader’s mother.

A recent study involving more than 118,000 patients with atrial fibrillation concluded that treatment with Xarelto increased the possibility of bleeding within the skull or digestive tract (JAMA Internal Medicine, online, Oct. 3, 2016) more than another anticoagulant, dabigatran. Older people were especially vulnerable.

The patients were taking anticoagulants like Xarelto or dabigatran (Pradaxa) to prevent strokes. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that may allow blood to clot within the heart. A clot that escapes and lodges in the brain can be catastrophic.

Pradaxa, Xarelto and the newer apixaban (Eliquis) and edoxaban (Savaysa) are being promoted as substitutes to the old anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). The newer blood thinners are presented as being easier to use since they don’t have dietary restrictions or regular blood tests as warfarin does.

A Patient’s Perspective on Blood Thinners:

Not all patients are clear why a newer drug would be an advantage. One reader wrote:

“I am thoroughly confused as to why these new anticoagulants are being prescribed so freely by cardiologists. I have had two cardiologists and an electrophysiologist recently suggest I switch from Coumadin to Xarelto.

“A neurosurgeon I saw said, ‘NO WAY!’ He has seen patients bleed to death [from Xarelto] before they could be treated for stroke or aneurysm.

“The doctors in favor of the new drug brush off my questions of what to do about bleeding problems and can’t seem to give me a straight answer. All three cardiologists said Xarelto is the drug THEY would take. I don’t get it!

“By the way, Xarelto is considerably more expensive than warfarin or Coumadin. I am having no problem with my current Coumadin!”

Monitoring FDA Data on Anticoagulants:

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) puts out a publication called “Quarter Watch.” It analyzed adverse drug reports submitted to the FDA. The report from June 29, 2016 offered the following insights on blood thinners:

“Use of oral anticoagulants-the highest risk outpatient drug treatment in older patients-increased as novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in part replaced the traditional warfarin and also expanded the patient population.”

“In 2015 the FDA received still more evidence of the high risks of oral anticoagulant therapy in the form of 34,765 adverse drug event reports, including 2,997 patient deaths and 9,523 adverse events severe enough to require hospitalization. The major problem reported was hemorrhage, n = 16,222 (46.7%), with the most frequent bleeding sites being the gastrointestinal system (n = 4,828), and the brain and central nervous system (n = 3,711)…The actual numbers of deaths and injuries associated with anticoagulant therapy are unknown, but thought to be 10 to 100 times higher than those reported.”

What About Eliquis (Apixaban)?

Sales of Eliquis have been skyrocketing. That may be due in part to an aggressive advertising campaign touting Eliquis over warfarin. Here are some TV spots to show you what we are talking about:

Fisherman

“Bringing My Best”

Kayaker

Eliquis Side Effects:

Hemorrhage:

Bleeding in the digestive tract, brain or within the eye

Anemia

Nausea

Blood clots if the drug is stopped suddenly. No one should EVER discontinue Eliquis suddenly without careful medical supervision. This “rebound” clotting effect could trigger life-threatening events.

Spinal procedures such as epidural anesthesia can be very dangerous for people taking Eliquis.

Serious allergic reactions (skin rash, anaphylaxis)

Other complications may include bruising, nose bleeds, breathing difficulties and hypotension (low blood pressure).

Readers Share Eliquis Stories:

Debbie in LA reported:

“My husband just came home from the hospital after being admitted four days previously. He had to go to the emergency room for horrible symptoms: severe breathlessness upon any exertion, even just rising from chair. He went from walking to a walker and a wheelchair in 4 weeks.

“His cardiologist changed him from well tolerated and controlled warfarin to Eliquis for long-time atrial fib. The breathlessness began immediately along with much joint pain, personality changes, weakness, stomach pain, insomnia and in the last two weeks he had urinary incontinence whenever he tried to catch his breath. He also noticed that his stools were getting darker.

“He saw his cardiologist who denied any of these symptoms were caused by Eliquis. Blood tests showed he was a little anemic. A week and a half after the blood work a trip to the emergency room revealed that his blood count had dropped and he was down to 24. Upon admittance, he was given two pints of blood, oxygen and fluids. His blood count went up to 28. He had a gastric endoscopy proving he had no bleeding ulcer. His blood count dropped to 24 again. He was administered another two pints of blood. A colonoscopy showed bleeding from a blood vessel in his colon. The doctor cauterized it.

“His blood count stayed steady at 30 so he was discharged. He was changed back to warfarin and will need follow up blood checks.”

Budd in Australia shared this:

“I was on Xarelto for around three years and was recently changed to Eliquis because of digestive problems. Now I have aching legs and arms, really painful and tight chest, and severe reflux, aching legs, fuzzy head and extreme fatigue. I get dizzy and lightheaded. This drug has ruined my life.”

“I have put on 10 kgs and feel really depressed. My cardiologist gets annoyed when I try to talk about it and says ‘its just a blood thinner.'”

Mae in Rockville reported similar side effects:

Since taking Eliquis I’ve experienced joint and muscle pain and cramps, and severe gastritis. When I notified my hematologist, he said that my symptoms were probably nerve issues. Also, I am totally exhausted most of the time.”

Read more about Eliquis side effects at this link:

New Eliquis (Apixaban) Alert: Unexpected Side Effect.

The People’s Pharmacy Perspective on New Anticoagulants:

Anticoagulant medications can prevent terrible complications from blood clots. In particular, they can reduce the risk of a stroke triggered by the arrhythmia atrial fibrillation. That said, blood thinners require great vigilance, whether they are old-fashioned drugs like warfarin or newer entries like Eliquis, Xarelto Pradaxa or Savaysa. Patients and their prescribers must walk the tightrope between blood clotting and bleeding. That requires attention to dosing and to side effects and interactions.

No one should ever stop an anticoagulant without very careful medical supervision! Doing so could trigger a life-threatening blood clot.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I have been on baby aspirin since 1989 and doing great, thank-you!

Been on Eliquis for 3 weeks. Side effects so far:
1. Hard to breathe shortly after taking it. That lasts 4 or 5 hours.
2. Frequent skips of heartbeat.
3. Red, itchy hive-looking rash that comes and goes.
4. Hard to walk long distances.
5. Nausea.

Told the doctor about these side effects and got the “deer in the headlights” look. Now he said I should maybe try Xarelto. But the side effects on that one look similar. Maybe I should go to Coumadin since it seems to not mess you up as badly. Think I would rather have a blood test than have no life.

This was my 1st A-FIB attack, and I think I was over-treated with this POISON. They put you on it and scare you with the threat of stroke but what about feeling this bad all the time. (I felt better when I had A-FIB). I don’t trust my doctor. He sure brought in the free samples quick to make sure I was on Eliquis without explaining the cost after the free month. Noticed the samples had serial numbers on them.

Have been to ER twice with shortness of breath and not sure what to do now. But hey, no stroke. Just NO life. You CAN’T tell me the Doctors DON’T know about all the problems with these drugs.

Been on Eliquis for 2 weeks. Trouble breathing soon after taking it. Hive-looking itchy red rash comes and goes. I feel worse than I did in A-FIB. Are THESE side effects life threatening?? I feel like I have no life. Doctor suggested Xarelto BUT that looks just as bad. Got no life now. But, hey, no STROKE. Thinking STROKE may be better. Doctors have no clue.

I am almost finished with my Eliquis. My pulmonary doc said I could stop it– just finish the script I have.I will have been on it 7 months for a pulmonary embolism. He just said finish what I have and that’s that!!

My husband was prescribed Xarelto for afib as he had had a mini-stroke. After 6 mos. he was having problems with extreme fatigue. This eventually got worse. He went off the Xarelto. 6 mos later the drs put him on it once again. During the next 6 months he once again became seriously fatigued, had itching skin, severe headaches, skin breaking out. Again went off Xarelto but damage already done. Went to cardiologist who put him back on it.

Within 2 mos, headaches once again most severe, fatigue so bad could only walk from his bed to table, skin erupting, 3 weeks of heavy nosebleeds that would not stop. By the third month he had to be hospitalized and was given 3 units if blood. A gastrointestinal bleed was found, and he was bleeding from colon. 2 weeks later he died. He was 83 years old.

But during all this time he did not like taking Xarelto claiming it made him feel awful and felt he had been doing OK. on cumadin and then switched to aspirin. Though he was old and not well we can’t help believe this is a dangerous drug, and the public needs to know that. Drs need to consider a patient’s own symptoms rather than the drug company’s words and all the tests they insist on because they cannot diagnose themselves.

Xarelto almost killed me. My blood could no longer carry the oxygen that my body needed to survive. Xarelto is a dangerous drug to some people. Know your body, and don’t be afraid to stand up and say something is wrong. Doctors sometimes bury their mistakes. I have been off blood thinners six years until I was in a car wreck earlier this year. Heart doctor put me on Eliquis. I had horrible headaches every morning after taking meds at night. Now they have switched me to Warfarin, and thus far no problems. God gave us a brain to use. Doctors are not perfect. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to say NO. Don’t be afraid to change doctors. Don’t be the next statistic or a guinea pig.

I’ve been taking apixiban for 2 years now, due to a DVT, and I have abnormal clotting (factor8). Concerned about having a spontaneous aneurysm but my hematologist won’t agree to take me off the medication due to the clotting risk. I am a cyclist. He said that having a concussion could be life-threatening, but I’m unwilling to sit at home. I may buy one of the new impact absorbing helmets though, about all I can do.

I have heard so many bad things about Xarelto . How can one decide when side affects are as bad as a stroke? I had an event in 2010 and not sure if I’ve had another since. I’m on Metropolol. Anyone with positive feedback? Does Xarelto make you tired?

I am a 76 year old male who is active in the gym 2hrs at least per week, swimming. And I cycle everywhere. I had a DVT in my left calf and have AFib so I have been on xarelto for about 18 months. So far I have not experienced really adverse symptoms other than: light-headedness and dizziness sometimes and occasional shortness of breath. I have read that there are fewer bleeding incidents with eliquis and so have decided to switch. However, reading the feedback here has put me in a state of uncertainty: should I switch or stay with xarelto? I am not prepared to try electrophysiology or surgery for the AFiB because those interventions are not 100% successful and carry their own risks. We really are between a rock and a hard place!

After my heart surgery I was doing well on baby aspirin and small dosages of two other drugs. My doctor told me to stop taking aspirin and put me on Eliquis. I have been on Eliquis two years. I noticed, over time, hyper pigmentation in my feet. It made my feet look like I was wearing an ankleless sock. Over time the darkening spread so it looks like I have dark knee socks on. Now my face is two shades darker than the remaining parts of my body. I started feeling weak, fuzzy- headed, nauseated most days from the get go with Eliquis.

I also have arthritis and was on long-term aspirin because it helped me like nothing else. My doctor is clueless. This Eliquis is very expensive, and there is nothing out there talking about the effects of long-term use. I have researched this drug and found out how to get off of it to resume my baby aspirin again. We need more help from people who know how to use natural herbs and other things to help us with our illnesses. I eat healthy fish, chicken, tofu, whole grains, nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, and non hydrogenated oils like olive, avocado, canola and grapeseed oils.

I’ve been on ELIQUIS for 2 years. I am so weak by 11 am that I have to go to bed. My left Kidney filled with a bloody fluid. Before draining it I was given 3 contrast dye MRIs in the 4 days. I was hospitalized while they ruled out an INFARCT of both heart and kidney. It was a cyst. They did not remove the sac – just drained it with a needle. It will probably return. Also I bleed from the bowel but cannot get clearance for an COLONOSCOPY until my Cardiologist gives permission to go off ELIQUIS for 5 days.

I have been on Xarelto 20 mg for just over two years now. I have a blood clotting disorder that I inherited from my mom, who passed away of a PE when she was 46. I have had at least 4 dvt’s a stroke and a blood clot in my Jugular. The last DVT I had was in July or 2016. I was put on Xarelto and was not told of any reactions or side effects or drug interactions, However after 3 months of being on Xarelto, I started to get this weird rash on my legs, stomach, arms and chest area. I asked the Doc about it and was referred to a Dermatologist and that Dermatologist referred me on to another Dermatologist, who ended up saying that I had stasis Dermatitis. So of course I said ok, lets get this taken care of. Well steroid cream after Steroid cream did not work and my rash just kept getting worse once the steroids and the steroid cremes were done. So the next step was for them to remove a vein from the leg that had the last clot in it… Still no changes. Im finally fed up with all of this garbage. If my Docs weren’t going to look into it, then I was, I found out that this rash and skin lesions were from the Xarelto most likely and that I never should of had to go to 2 Derms and a surgeon. It was all right here in front of me. Every single side effect that was on the list for skin irritation was every single symptom I had. Why did it take me to figure out that this was the problem? Why in the world were my Docs not trying to get answers? It boggles my mind, that I had to figure it out and then present it to them. They all thought I was crazy and that it wasn’t the med. Well after stopping my medication and calling my Hematologist, who by the way had no clue on what was happening to me. ( I thought Doctors shared medical records) but he was left completely out in left field. She finally has agreed to take me off of the medication. No more Rash, and my leg is starting to heal. My advice be your own best advocate, its your body and you are in total control of what goes into it.

While in the hospital for a mild case of cellulitis the doctor prescribed xarelto & lovenax. 4 days later she bled to death in ICU. Come to find out they were giving them both at the same time. And the doctor, nurses, and the pharmacy missed the mistake!

When Xarelto (20 mg) was prescribed to me a year ago, I was led to believe that it was only for several months. I could not afford it as I have no insurance for meds, am poor and have to pay out-of-pocket which severely limits what I can take. I got a free 1-yr prescription from Johnson & Johnson which will expire very soon. Now, although my doctors give me a clean bill of health as to the pulmonary embolism for which it was prescribed, they are also saying I have to take it for life!

No way can I do this. I refuse to take Coumadin or Warfarin as I have had too many negative stories about these drugs that need constant monitoring. I don’t believe I have arrhythmia and I am not having any other problems. I have heard there is a very small risk of having another clot or cardiac arrest from arrythmia when stopping Xarelto.

I`ve been taking Eliquis for almost two years now. I`ve had absolutely no side effects whatsoever, but I`m planning to get off the medication as I have concluded that any medication that can kill me due to stopping it is not worth taking it in the first place. I`ll take my chances with normal blood.

The blood thinners aren’t the problem, its the anti-acid meds!
These meds interfere with your ability to digest your food .
My red blood count is down, all my joints are sore, weakness in my muscles, which are all the listed side effects of these anti-acid drugs.
I am reducing all my meds slowly, and plan to only take asprin and a natural supplement.
If you are stable with no angina, 3 months of this DAPT is enough.

..I am taking Eliqus and i do have problems with my arms and legs hurting and sometimes..feeling funny in my brain..i need my eye glasses and since taking Eliqus..i am hurting in both my feet..im sitting here reading on Eliqus and very concern if i should get in the catscan and on Eliqus.I have nobody to discuss this with and with those i do discuss this with they don’t understand my situation..i do not want to die before my time..i have to pray each time before taking my Eiqus medication..I wish i could go back to how i was before taking any medication..i am taking 7 to 8 pills including calcium pills everyday..I have notice my personality changing but nobody else, not even the people at my church or my family understanding why i am the way i am..I really need to talk with a counselor bad…

I have been on Xarelto 40 mg for 5 years and have not had any side effects that I recognized. I eat a fairly normal diet and exercise 3 times a week for 1 to 1.5 hours each time. I am concern about the “no antidote” issue but so far doing Ok. I had a stress test and echo, and Cardiologist said I was in better shape now than a year after quintuple bypass surgery in May, 2013.

I went on a strict diet for almost two years after surgery. But went back to old habits now. I do take
Coreg CR 20mg daily, Crestor 5 mg Ibersatan 75 Spironatone 75mg and Xarelto 40mg
Daily. I also supplement my meds with 1 day vitamins for Men, Turmeric with Biopren, and 4 ounces of pomegranate juice and one Biotin daily for hair growth.

Been on Xarelto 20mg for just over 3 years. Had PE’s in both lungs and DVT, all at age 29. Am now on blood thinner for life, so I have concerns about long-term effects. Since starting on Xarelto, I’ve gone to the emergency room for a bleeding incident, have some issues breathing, regular lightheadedness, some fatigue problems, and some memory problems. Can’t say for sure how much is the medicine vs. other health problems/effects from blood clots, though I suspect the medicine is a culprit for a number of these issues.

I am still on the fence about Xarelto. I haven’t had clot issues since taking it (to the best of my knowledge), so it seems to be doing its job. At the same time, dealing with these other issues makes things difficult and frustrating at times. Being the drug’s guinea pig for long-term effects is also of concern. Whether another blood thinner would make a difference, I cannot say.

I had concerns about there being no antidote. My hematologist told me that in the event of severe bleeding from injury, they’d give me a blood transfusion at the hospital. The “antidotes” that I am aware of are only administered in a healthcare office anyways, and if so, whether there is an antidote wouldn’t make much difference.

Hi. I have been on xarelto 20 mg for 5 years and have had nothing but problems: numbing right hand, acid reflux that never goes away, tingling in the legs, blood tasting in mouth. I’m down to 15 mg now and have fewer side effects but still acid reflux and tingling right hand. I’ve had 2 heart ablations. I started taking the medicine every other day but I think it’s time to get off these pills and just take aspirin.

You feel like it’s ok to take every other day.. I want to try that been on it for about 11 months just recently having little nose bleeds kind of worries me.

I was put on apixaban 8 weeks after a hip replacement due to bloods clots in the lungs. After I started the apixaban I had sickness, headaches, dizziness, vision was also affected. I could cope with these side effects as they were not too debilitating. One month after starting apixaban all the above side effects became very severe, I was shaking inside, felt very sick, headached, dizziness, tearful, it was horrible I felt so ill

I went to the doctors the next day and told him I was not taking it again, I had not taken it the previous night being so ill, he wanted to put me on warfarin which I refused. He never said, probably because he does not know, about just stopping it and the risk of clots, just said you are taking a risk without a blood thinner. it was supposed to be a three month course. I told the doctor I was going to take bromelain which is supposed to be an anti coagulant, he said off the record to buy some ginger root and take that.

It has been three days since I stopped the apaxiban and I still have the same side effects on and off, just praying I can regain my health soon. Parmaceutical companies should not be allowed to put dangerous drugs on the matket and use us as guinea pigs. We need to stand up to doctors and say no.

I took xarelto for only 8 days. Am I at risk of dangerous side effects?

My GP put me on Xarelto 20 mg for life after my second DVT behind my right knee. A major lifestyle change that I refuse to except. I did (April 2018) play very competitive basketball on 3 teams. One team travels nationwide in tournaments. The doctors said if I take just one hard headshot, I’ll bleed internally. I say, just one hard fender bender in my truck can have the same results. We are walking a fine line on this stuff. Even worried when I prune my rose bushes or go fishing.

I have these solvable and unsolvable problems. Stopping the thickening of my blood. Stay hydrated better. Keeping knee inflammation in check. What I can’t change that thickens my blood is high oxygen levels in my blood. I can run forever. I have a very low resting heart rate that slows my blood flow down.

Reading all these letters I understand why I now feel my right kidney when lying down on my back. My big time aches and pains after sitting are new to this 64 year-old body. Feeling fatigue after doing normal things is not me either. Am getting off Xarelto. I hope Kaiser has something better.

Anybody else take 20mg a day and play contact sports? Thanks.

My specialist put me on Xarelto 20mg for life after an unprovoked PE at 28 years old. I was hoping to come off of Xarelto as my health was back to normal. I train and compete in strongman which involves extremely heavy weights and the doctor told me I had to stop this sport, for similar reasons to you. My doctor mentioned strain on the body leading to the possibility of a bleed.

This devastated me being that I am supposed to stop my sport. I don’t want to accept that I have to stay on blood thinners for the rest of my life and live in a bubble. I would love an alternative to thinners or someone more knowledgeable in the effects of Xarelto and playing sports to provide information.

I searched the internet to find natural solutions that won’t harm me. So far I have taken no blood thinners! Now I found that one of the causes to my irregular heartbeat is low electrolytes from not eating healthy, not getting enough sunshine or drinking enough water. Plus, I was getting diarrhea all the time! Now so far diarrhrea is under control, my electrolytes are improving, and I take only natural blood thinners plus 2 childrens’ aspirin a day!

I have been on warifin with no problems, and I will stay on it permanently.

Had DVT surgery and post op issues for over 1 month now. Got UTI from catheter and bad prostate bleeding, then antibiotic caused severe rash, GERD and Thrush. Got rid of rash with benadryl in 1 week, then got different rash from Eliquis (welts come and go over all areas of body with severe itching), stopped Eliquis for 4 days until surgeon visit and rash mostly gone. Took Natokinaise (fermented soy bean enzyme to prevent clots temporarily). Stopped Benadryl then prescribed Xarelto so stopped Nato – got new rash bumps on torso and back and morphing welts over arms, ears, elbows and legs. Skin doc said rash on torso was Grovers disease (sweat glands inflamed from surgery bed rest likely). Given steroid cream. Torso and back good, but now have Xarelto rash that’s very bad on legs similar to Eliquis. Steroid cream doesn’t do anything at all for this new rash (only Desitin – baby cream stops itching). Also breathing harder and slightly painful doing active sports where lungs burn while exercising and rest of that day (lungs felt like breathing cold air in winter time). Rash worsened by warm shower and after taking another dose of Xarelto. Will stop taking Xarelto for 1+ week and take Nato, aspirin, and other natural thinners to see if rash goes away. Doc said if I have allergic reaction to both Eliquis and Zarelto will have to go on Coumadin. This has been 4 god awe-full weeks. Any others with leg rashes or long term Nato use to thin blood?

My Dad is 79 yrs old, and was on dabigatran (Pradaxa) for months to reduce risk due to atrial fibrillation. The cardiologist decided to move him to Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and just with a single dose, he started coughing blood. He immediately saw a hematologist and a gastroenterologist, who after examination said that he has swelling in his throat. Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) was stopped only after this single dose and he went back to taking dabigatran (Pradaxa) for another day. The next night, he started to bleed heavily due to GI bleeding and in emergency his hemoglobin went down to 1.5 to 2.0. He had to be moved immediately to a larger hospital, was given multiple blood units, treated with anti-dotes for dabigatran (Pradaxa). He barely managed to survive after a few days in ICU but due to this stress, his heart has a low ejection fraction (about 25-30%) and his heart is not recovering fast enough. Anyone know how to cardiologists treat atrial fibrillation without the option of using blood thinner of any kind? Devices such as watchman needs short-term blood thinner which are out of question for him. Thanks.

Hi, I was diagnosed with PE 6months ago after my GP sent me for a CTScan, I couldn’t get my breath going up stairs ,and a rushed trip by Ambulance to the hospital.
I was put on Xarelto and sent home.
The side effects are not very good ,the only thing I found that this medication helped my heart rate ,
Yesterday I went for another CTScan andthe clots have gone, now I’m on Cartia low dosage asprin to get off Xarelto .
I do experience anxiety and always reading up dates on these medication.
Today I was experiencing tight chest , light headnesess , and Tinnitus , so tonight with food I took one
asprin ,Xarelto And Avapro BP medication.
I can’t wait to get off Xarelto this Monday which will be the last one I take and the asprin will take over.
My clots were unprovoked they didn’t know where it came from
I’m 78 this June .
The doctors reseptionist said she was on Warfrin for Three months I asked her why not Xarelto being she worked In a Dr surgery,
Her reply was she was bleeding from a large DVT in her leg,
Where I wasn’t . I had lots of small clots and two big ones in my lungs.
I hate taking any sort of medication , I had a knee replacement 6 yearsago with no problems.
Side effects of this Xarelto are dizziness,Tinnitus, breathlessness .
Depression, sore when I get up from sitting down. Clearing of the throat , mucus , And much more ,
Ps, I have bought a mini portable cycle when I’m watching TV or sitting down during the day. My daughter is in the medical field and she believes the reason I got these clots were sitting to long getting over a sore knee, I happen to twist my knee without moving around on the carpet, that when mine happened . Good luck everyone there are so many on these medication but I think I would prefer the warfarin ,

Hi,
Sorry to hear about your issues. Had a similar problem with my dad but he had a stroke after they took him off the blood thinner so they put him back on it. He had several issues thereafter, including shortness of breath and feeling disoriented. He died after a month in hospital at age 78. I think the key is constant monitoring. At times the doctors and nurses become overwhelmed with issues going on within the hospital so they require a little nudging by the patient’s family to do the right thing.

This discussion is helpful. I don’t like what I’m reading, any more than I like what I have to contribute!

I started taking Xarelto about five months ago to relieve blood clots in my arm and neck. This evening and last Monday evening I had a couple of hours of severe cramping/spasms in my fingers and shins (charlie horses). Honestly, one hand would seize and then the other hand then a leg then both hands. I didn’t answer the phone because I couldn’t hold it in either hand.

The blood clots were most likely a delayed effect of some surgery. It happens. I’ve never had them before, but I’ve always – since a little kid – had leg and foot cramps now and then. Finger cramps came later, when I started using a computer mouse for hours on end.

This afternoon and last Monday afternoon, I carried uncommonly heavy plastic grocery bags and made a pig of myself on jelly beans (also uncommon). I figured sugar shock was the culprit until I read the comments here. Maybe it is – but maybe it’s not.

My prescription for Xarelto is free for the first year. I send in my co-pay receipts to Janssen CarePath for reimbursement.

My first AF episode was in 1997. I was put on a Beta Blocker which made me very tired and led to a first degree heart block. When I had an episode of AF, going back in NSR my heartrate almost flatlined, and I would almost pass out. So a pacemaker was put in, and if my rate would go below 50 the pacer would kick in. I didn’t have too many episodes for many years. However, I am getting a lot more episodes.

Now my doctor wants to put me on Eliquis. When I first was getting episodes of AF, my doc did put me on Coumadin. I was on it for a few months and was getting bloodshot eyes and blood pooling in my fingers when using any pressure. My doctor told me to stop it, which I did, after a couple of weeks. I had a nose bleed and coughed up some blood clots, but nothing else happened and I consider myself very lucky.

I am scared to death of taking a blood thinner. I considered an ablation but I know that one may not be enough and also, if the LAA is compromised then a blood thinner is needed for life. I have been reading a lot about the Watchman Device, and I am considering having just that done so that blood clots do not form from the heart when in AF. I am in my early 80s so my biggest concern is about a stroke.

What is the consensus about a Watchman Device?

There doesn’t seem to be a strong consensus. Your cardiologist should be able to advise you on this, and you may want to get a second opinion.

I was put on eliquis after drs found blood clot behind right knee. Blood clot was from being in hospital for 3 weeks.

A month after starting this poison all my hair began to fall out, now I’m practically bald. I am extremely fatigued and miserable all the time. I think the blood thinner manufacturers should give their kids the blood thinners then we’ll see how safe they claim they are.

I was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia + sepsis due to the bacteria. I am a healthy, normal weight, fit and very active female,age 58. I was in the hospital for 4 days. During that time I was given a blood thinner by a shot in my belly button area. I had no idea I was given this medicine until a week ago. When I was released I has severe pain in my legs and feet that lasted almost 8 days. I called and told a nurse but they did not think it was anything to worry about. The pain finally stopped.

Then from out of the blue I started having Acid reflux?? This stuff coming up in my throat gagging me. Not everyday but a few times a week…I thought how weird….why do have this? Then about six months later I felt a knot or a little ball by my belly button……I pushed it and it popped. Nothing weird happened but I get very full when I eat food?? Weird. I do work a very physical job and I walk about 5-7 miles each day. Now my knees are sometimes swollen, I am seeing spider veins everywhere and I did not have them before. Can all of the symptoms I listed be a result of the blood thinner they gave me?? I wish they would have asked me or told me or assessed my danger of having a blood clot. I know that it was not needed.

I recently had a renal infarction, (kidney stroke), and after going through extensive tests, they couldn’t find any reason for the blood clot. They put me on Eliquis. Since starting it I have had 24/7 headaches. They got much worse as time went on, and the doctor told me to just take increasing doses of Tylenol. After going through a few bottles of Tylenol I have decided to transition to aspirin.

I am not at all interested in damaging my liver with constant Tylenol use, and the headaches have become unbearable. My doctor said to take half an Eliquis twice daily, and I have for almost a week. Initially the headaches subsided but have grown again.

Sadly, my doctor is not very informative on how to transition, so I am taking matters into my own hands. I would love it if there was some information, any information on how to switch. Today I am taking a low dose aspirin and would love to know if I should take two, one in the morning and one at night… or just one in the morning. Lacking input ‘ll take one in the morning and one at night for a few days then drop to one a day for the rest of my life.

Old Bayer created a pretty good drug when he bound a methyl molecule to Willow bark.

Ty

Well after reading these articles I do not think it’s all in the head. It’s good to see a forum that doesn’t make you feel that you are going insane. About 3 years ago I told my G.P. that there was something wrong so a local doctor very reluctantly sent me to a Cardiologist. He said I had a slight heart murmur, and I had an EGG Carotid Scan and Echo Scan. All were normal so I received a discharge letter from him–no need to return.

Next thing a new doctor called me to ask me to see her. She then said she felt I should be put on a blood thinner to prevent a stroke. I was given time to think about it, and here I am 3 years down the line, aged 67 and taking this drug. So far a few of the side effects are: very bad Tinnitus; throat problems; fingertip pain like needles; pains in legs and fee–burning sensation; terrible time concentrating; and muscle weakness rib cage. I am made to feel that these, and the rest of them, are all in my imagination.

I have a main concern about this drug, and everyone should be told that there is no antidote. So God forbid you were involved in an accident. You could bleed to death. Remember if you go abroad make sure that the country you are visiting has them. I just found out last year that state hospitals in Cyprus don’t issue prescriptions. If you forget yours you would have to get a private prescription then claim back on insurance. Just imagine coming off a night flight and finding that a hospital won’t issue a script.

I am having a terrible time on Eliquis. Have had many mini strokes and have had most of the side effects mentioned above. Am having a terrible time functioning at all normally. Am thinking of lowering my dose and taking my chances. I am dizzy most of the time and my voice is hoarse and sore. Not much quality of life. Have my Living Will in place and am so miserable and feel like taking my chances. Good luck everyone who is in the same boat.

My father was put on Plavix after angioplasty and stent placement (odd that the angioplasty was done one day and stent placement three days later). He was released after several days of observation. It wasn’t 1 week before he had to return to the emergency room for water retention and breathing problems. He started bleeding from a ruptured colon, they say – couldn’t do surgery due to his age and health, they said. He died two days later – bleeding badly from the rectum. We refused transfusion – what good would it do if they could not stop the bleeding? He was also on a baby aspirin every day (which can cause GI bleeding).

I have AF & just had angioplasty on my leg & was told to stay on 81 mg aspirin it was just as good as any other expensive blood thinners I have no problems with aspirin . Talk with your Dr.

I’ve had two PE in 3 years times the first started from a DVT I was put on Xarelto both times, not to be in-depth but every other BM produces Blood in the stool, sometimes it’s a lot, I go to the doctors and they same BS oh your fine it’s just internal hemmroids, Xarelto also make me fatigue, scared to do anything cause God forbid I get cut or a head bump or anything…

I’ve been researching and studying a lot on holistic medicine.. Thinking of going to Low Dose Asprin, Omega 3 and Fish Oil, along with a already healthy lifestyle..
Taking these meds is like playing a constant game of Russian Roulette

My Mother was prescribed Generic Name: warfarin (oral) (WAR far in)
Brand Names: Coumadin, Jantoven for. She was given this medication for prevention of thromboembolism in atrial fibrillation. She was in mid 60’s when she began and was asked by her doctor to stop taking it when she was about 75 years old. He said that she no longer needed to take it. The last 3 of the 10 years she took WARfarin (Coumadin), she began experiencing lower back issues along with severe migraines and, worst of all, blood clots in both of her thighs which is very painful and made it difficult for her to walk. Not to mention the continuous painful rash she had on both of her legs, and feet, that no medication to date prescribed has helped. She has repeatedly asked for help from doctors to do something about the clots in her legs, and she is continuously told there is nothing that can be done on account of her A-fib condition. I know it was WARfarin that caused these clots in her legs, as they have become more and more painful. Now she is barely able to walk and move about.

I had an a-fib attack November 20, 2017 and while in the hospital the cardiologist prescribed Eliquis and four other blood pressure meds. I was walking in the hospital but after two weeks on Eliquis and the other meds, I have so much pain in my legs and lower back that I need a walker to get around the house. I believe it is the Eliquis and the other meds causing this. What else could it be?

I was given Xarelto after hip surgery to prevent blood clots in that region and the leg area. They also used a spinal anesthetic during the procedure. On waking my right hand was partially numb and hasn’t gone away after 9 weeks. Wondering if this could be a combination of the Xarelto and spinal or if anyone else have these problems?

Does taking Xeralto cause a ringing in the ear?

I was on Coumadin for over 10 years then I had credit artery surgery and the surgeon changed me to Eliquis i’ve been on Eliquis now for four months my fatigue is unbelievable rainfall memory loss even in general conversations trying to form sentences. I’m forgetting words, weight gain, you name it.

Nothing like I was when I was on Coumadin. I’d like to go back on the Coumadin and throw this Eliquis in the trash. I have not felt normal or like myself since I started taking this drug.

I was diagnosed with A-fib in June of 2008: Since that time I have taken blood thinners, out of almost 10 years, only four months total. The new and expensive blood thinners are a racket. $300 – $500 a month: Once a patient goes on them they can never stop: Nonsense, I have taken coumadin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, and Xarelto and stopped taking all of the above because of severe side effects from all.

Most doctors object to “stopping blood thinners” and tell the patient to ignore the side effects. Here are the side affects I have experienced: Coumadin – serious infections: Eliquis – memory loss and severe nose bleeds: Pradaxa – severe blistering, swelling and painful hands and finger, and nausea: Xralto – same side affects as Pradaxa:

I had an ablation on August 17, 2017 and since that time I have experienced one a-fib event. I have been able to reduce the flecinaide dosage and now almost four months later I feel good. I am 80 by the way: I have found a cardiologist in Utah who accepts the fact that I cannot take blood thinners and he does not insist that I take blood thinners: Other doctors insisted that I take blood thinners for two months before my ablation, as a matter of fact I took zero blood thinners before the ablation.

Question: Why haven’t I had a heart attack or stroke during ten years of a-fib?

What I have learned: All blood thinners are deadly, especially the “new” ones: I researched natural blood thinners and take them: For example tumeric, garlic, ginger root, and curry: I stay hydrated with water, not soft drinks, coffee, tea, or anything else: Heart attacks and strokes occur in the morning: First thing in the morning I drink at least two glasses of water and keep drinking water throughout the day. By the way: Water is a natural blood thinner:
Research the benefits of a total plant based diet:

Google: Colon T. Cambell and listen to his lectures on U-tube.
Many doctors maintain that good health is from prescription bottles and that is not true. Of course excercise: Netflix films to watch: What the Health: Forks over Knives
The major point is this: Listen to your body and be very cautious with doctors as they are not the ones experiencing the deadly side affects.

I was on Eliqius for two weeks only, and I started to experience memory loss and serious bleeding. I stopped taking it much to the objection of the PA. I have taken coumadin, pradaxa, and xerlato, and I have had serious side effects with all of the above.

So what do we do? Apparently aspirin does not do enough to stop strokes with AFib. I was put on Eliquis but am taking the lowest dose altho cardio has now said I have to be on the 5mg dose. The 2.5mg is for people my age that have kidney issue and weigh up to 135lbs.

I don’t have kidney issues and I weigh 145lbs. Apparently the 5mg dose covers people who weigh alot more than I do so why wouldn’t the 2.5mg cover my weight. I read that stopping Eliquis increases risk of stroke! How do we deal with that risk if we have to stop it for some reason, would taking aspirin replace it?

Having read all these problems people are having, I am worried. I have been taking Xarelto for 3 -4 years and was told I would be on it for life because of DVT in three spots on my leg in the same spots, over a ten year span. So far no problems. Just the cost being high. I didn’t realize there was no antedote possible for internal bleeding, and now I am afraid of bumping my head, or cutting my finger, or even having to have an emergency surgery…what would happen?

There is no way I could wait til it was safe for surgery. Last time I had to be off the xarelto for 5 days for blood to thicken again. Wondering now if I should go back to Coumadin and take the side effects. For me it was upset stomach, and hard to regulate being poked every week.

We have been on warfarin due to AFib but I have never asked the doctors what kind of AFib it was, which resulted in abrupt prescription of warfarin 5 years ago. Still, it just happens once in while, maybe once each 12 months or so. I will ask the doctor whether it’s the valvar or non-valvar type. There is also one alternative, I know, i.e. to perform the ablation surgery. But I’m not sure if all patients would get to tolerate this procedure, and if they would be able to cut on the warfarin intake after that operation? On each visit to these doctors and even from our friends, we are hearing constant advice “Why don’t you shift to Xarelto? Why don’t you do this?” Friends definitely can’t realize that NOACs (xarelto and elliquis, etc) do not have an anidote, but can’t the doctors also get it?!

I am determined to go and ask this doctor -electrophysiologist- if they really have any antidote ready at the hospital? I am VERY WORRIED BUT I KNOW that there is one device which is called point-of-care INR/PT test for home usage, and it helps to check in with your INR/PT at home instead of doing that in a clinic/ laboratory. We are going to purchase this device from the U.S.

My dear mom insists she is going to change to Xarelto. It makes me VERY sad because she pays more attention to the constant insists coming from these doctors instead of those coming from me. I want to ask her to be patient with warfarin, and we can just hopefully manage this problem by means of the point-of-care device. Dear ppl, I am a deep believer in God. We can tackle this issue together. I have read all the comments you shared thus far. I am very distressed and sad over this issue but I am sure there will come hopes from almighty God.

I was in great shape except for high blood pressure, which I was having trouble lowering. Then two years ago I had a stroke (at 63) because of AFib the cardiologist said. I was never told I had Afib even after having multiple electrocardiograms during my life.

Now I’ve been on Xarelto since then, and my only problem has been the cost. I am also worried about the bleeding issues. I had a tooth pulled, and the dentist said that he didn’t see any excessive bleeding. I would like to cut my dosage down to 10 mg a day but am afraid to. I’ve already survived one stroke and am back to my normal self after two years of effort. I definitely don’t want to have another stroke. It is a fine line: your health, the cost, and the risks.

My advice is to follow your doctor’s suggestions but be up front with him/her about your concerns. See if they have any free samples of your blood thinners (no harm in asking). Stay as healthy and fit as you possibly can.
Do your research so you’re an informed, educated patient.

I am absolutely terrified of taking Xeralto which I am now on for life following a second pulmonary embolism (in the space of 30 years between). Reading all the information about no antedote for possible internal bleeding, I wonder why this drug is allowed on the market. I do trust my doctor and she says Xeralto is the best but I am so frightened of bumping my head/knocking my joints/cutting my finger, let alone what would happen if i needed emergency surgery. Is aspirin safer and just as effective

I started Eliquis in April of 2016. I had hyperthyroid 20 years ago and the cardiologist has been tracking me since then, as at the time I had a-fib. Twenty years later I am now on Eliquis. One month after starting it I started to get hoarse and continually having to clear my throat. I have been to a lung specialist as I was told I had COPD. I didn’t. I went to a gastroenterologist to see If I had GERD. I did, but it was very minor. Now I am ready for an ear nose and throat specialist to see if he can help me. I feel this all started after the Eliquis I started almost two years ago.

I did have three operations on one knee in three weeks time for knee replacement in February of this year and every thing went ok. But still I have the hoarseness and throat clearing. I really feel it started with the Eliquis. Other wise I have had no other symptoms.

Hi my wife just past they stopped xzarato had massive hemerage died 53

There is a lot of information mentioned above and a lot is similiar. I have been on xarelto for about 1-1/2 years. I find it very expensive so I ask my physician if I could take the 20mg tablet every other day. His answer was that he wouldn’t advise it but had no reason for his answer.

I have had many surgeries in my life time and never had any issues until I underwent cochlear implant surgery at the age of 66. I am now 68 and on xarelto due to a blood clot in my leg after surgery. I was to stay on xarelto for 3 months and stop. Six months later another blood clot in the same leg but that was questionable. I had a blood test and was told that I had a blood disorder know as a (Factor 5 Laden mutation) disorder. For 66 years with many surgeries I had no problem and now I was prescribed a medication I seem to be unable to get off of.

Due to my implant surgery and some related vertigo associated with it, I have some fuzzy headed feelings and don’to know if it is the implant surgery or the xarelto causing the problem. I am in good physical shape but feel handicapped with this feeling which no one can tell me if it’s from the xarelto or the inner ear due to the cochlear implant.

Has anyone else ever investigated Xarelto on a every other day schedule?

Morris, a recent study shows that a 10 mg/day dose of Eliquis works as well to prevent blood clots in the legs as a 20 mg/day dose. Don’t change the dose on your own (and DON’T stop taking it or skip days), but do ask your doctor if the EINSTEIN trial relates to you. (Snickers permitted at name of study.)

I took Xarelto for three days it resulted in a 1-week stay in the hospital where I nearly died from it. If you go every other day it could kill you. I would ask for a different option. Make sure they follow up regularly. YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE.

I’ve been on Xarelto for several months and have increasingly experienced light headedness, which has become a major problem. I was told there wouldn’t be any significant side effects but I feel that Warfarin was better for me.

I was dizzy and lightheaded. Was sent to a physical therapist. She realigned the crystals in my right ear. Problem solved.

My Primary Care Physician detected AFIB through my annual Medicare Wellness exam in 2010 and prescribed Warfarin to minimize the possibility of blood clot formation in my heart. I maintain a 2 to 2.5 level pretty consistently with testing on a monthly basis. The only times my tests have been abnormal have been during times of significant dietary changes involving foods such as broccoli, kale, spinach, etc. I recently ticked up to 3.2 while staying in an RV awaiting close of escrow on our home.

In this case, my green leafy vegetable intake was greatly curtailed. My doctor adjusted the Wafarin slightly and instructed me to have next blood-draw testing in two weeks instead of four. Interestingly, I had a neighbor while living in Washington State who started Warfarin therapy in his late 60’s due to valve replacement and he continued on it until death at age 101. He was still splitting firewood in his 90’s and his mind was clear until death.

He never entered skilled nursing care. My sister-in-law now in mid 80’s has had a similar history with long-term Warfarin use. I believe the key is steadiness of diet and the watchful eye of the prescribing physician coupled with careful regimen of regular testing. My Cardiologist recently recommended implantation of the WATCHMAN device, but the company website for the procedure/device delineates serious risks and advises those functioning well non anti-coagulant therapy to stay put.

I have been on Xaralto, Cardia XT, and Losartan for a few months. My Afib was taken care of with the cardio version shock thing, but my cardiologist is insisting that I continue taking all the drugs. In reality, my BP is in the high normal range 140/85. I’m 67 and am experiencing numbness in my hands and pain in my joints and back. My BP is still the same. My heart rate is around 58.

I work out and am back up to my full work out with 2 miles at a steady 9 mph on my bike. I want to stop all the meds but can’t seem to find any guidance. Xarelto is out of your system within 30 hrs. How can there be a rebound effect? The cardia XT is a heart rate regulator, and I can’t find out much about it, how to stop etc. I’m thinking of working with my primary and getting away from the cardiologist.

I think nobody should go on any blood thinners if you don’t have nothing wrong!
I’m noticing from friends and family deaths they were on either blood thinners or other drugs…….apparently it sounds like such a hoax

And I found other who do things naturally seem to not have problems and live longer.

You pick one.

Within a month of my 77 year old wife starting to take Eliquis instead of aspirin, I took her to the hospital thinking she had a heart attack. Symptoms included:
i. Weakness in the legs / buckling knees.
ii. Left shoulder pain radiating down the left arm and to the middle of the back
iii. Nausea
iv. Confusion
v. Persistent tiredness and weakness

Having been assured that she was not having a heart attack, we went back and reviewed the side effects of Eliquis. These were all there, including incontinence, which she had also started experiencing. She went back to aspirin and all the side effects were gone in two weeks.

I have read all the posts. I am new with afib, age 71. The rate was lowered by reducing thyroid med, now few events. The doctors want me to sign up for one of the meds but I see the 3 newer drugs are BAD, no monitoring or coagulant. That leaves warfarin and possibility of bleeds plus other side effects. I was very scared when the doctors told me I have a 3% risk of stroke. BUT I was told to read up on the drugs and pick one. Got no dr. info. I put my foot down and will see a cardiologist with emphasis on side effects of warfarin. I have 3 college degrees ,and now I am using them to figure out what to do. I want to know HOW LONG DO PEOPLE LIVE ON WARFARIN as a start. I have thyroid and HBP problems. I now SEE that almost any side effect can come from this drug.

I have been on Xarelto for over a year after being diagnosed with chronic AFIB. IThe only reaction I’ve had are the dreams every night, but they are always pleasant ones. I am scared to death after reading all of this negativity. I am 81, diabetic, have COPD and the usual mild joint pain and other aging aches and pains. I would not like to take an anti-coag. that required testing, diet restrictions, etc.

I already see enough doctors and already follow a diabetic diet. I never take or eat ANYTHING that might interfere with the XARELTO or interact with my AFIB. The most I might take is a Tylenol. I drink decaf coffee and tea. So far, so good, thanks be to God. I do try to stay positive and not worry about my health too much. I have a good sense of humor, which helps.

If anyone out there has any good suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them.

I have had a-fib for over eight years. I have had to have six cardio-versions during that time, my cardiologist in Washington who diagnosed my condition in 2008 did not insist that I take blood thinners. When I moved to Utah the cardiologists insisted that I take blood thinners which I have not done until December 2016. I was told that in order to obtain an oblation, I had to be on blood thinners for at least two monthes.

After two cardio-versions at the end of 2016 I consented to blood thinners. I started on Jantoven first week in December. On Christmas day I was admitted to the hospital with a very serious infection in my leg. I was on an anti-biotic drip for four days and the infection finally cleared up. Then during the following months Jan – Mar 2017, I experienced four more infections, in my legs, with each episode becoming more anti-biotic resistant. During the last infection my primary care doc. had to try four kinds of anti-biotics in order to successfully treat the last infection.

The middle of March 2017, I stopped taking the jantoven. Since that time I have had zero infections. Yet the PAs at the cardiologist office told me that the jantoven had not caused the infections. Yet during my life time I have never experienced infection after infection after infection. The PA’s insisted that I take blood thinners which I refuse to take.

In order to obtain an ablation I started to take pradaxa first part of April and after I was on pradaxa for two weeks my hands started to hurt and then they started to swell up and then my finders became swollen and inflamed and day by day this condition was getting worse and worse. Then itching and painful blisters started to appear on the palm of my right hand. I called the cardiologist and I was told to stay on the pradaxa anyway and ignore all of the side effects. The day I called the cardiologist I stopped taking the pradaxa and my hands are healed.

Blood thinners are deadly: There are natural ways to keep your blood thin: Drink water: Adopt a plant based diet: I have enjoyed a total plant based diet for over five years now: Garlic and tumeric are natural blood thinners: I cannot even take baby asprin without serious blistering.

My brother In law developed right sided weakness while on Pradaxa. He began dragging his leg and his mobility and balance were affected. A ct scan did not show anything could nt have an MRI due to a pacemaker. Could this have been the result of intercranial bleeding?

I know that a CT scan is not as definitive a tool as MRI. He has gone on Xarelto now seems to sleep a lot, has neuropathic pain relieved by tramadol and Neurotin (which may account for the sleeping). He has afib, had ablation, and pacemaker.

What do you think? His family doctor said that one of the side effects of Praxada was weakness on one side, but I have found nothing to support this,

Your explanation is plausible, but without a qualified diagnosis we may never know.

I am on my 4th month of taking Eliquis for DVT and PE’s. I received my first 3 months of meds from the hospital pharmacy. Never had any issues. Then, I got a prescription filled at a different pharmacy. Within a couple days, I was feeling different. And, now( about 2 weeks into this bottle), I am having symptoms of a DVT in one of my legs. Never had that at all during the first 3 months. I am wondering if there are different drug batches that would be different from others? It is the same dose. Could this new bottle be old? Placebos?
And, to make this even a worse situation…I have lost my health insurance, and have to go through an appeals process to maybe get it back. That can take up to 3 months. So, I have to call my doctor(who I did not like), and ask him to please refill my prescription for at least 2 more months.To get me through the 6 month treatment time.
Any thoughts on the different effects from the prescriptions?

I find it curious that all three siblings (in my family) have been prescribes Eliquis (High priced as hell and from all that I have read (and that is a great deal over months) riddled with side affects. Myself and one brother never started it I have afib he was also dignosed with afib but he did not know he had it. My other brother the oldest was just placed on it but I have not spoken with him for exact reason. Look into Natural blood thinners and I take reg aspirin

To Beth and anyone else that will listen…..At least 15 years ago I was diagnosed with AFIB and congestive heart failure. I was told to seek a cardiologist, although I had NO symptoms at that time. The new primary I saw for the 1st time frightened me into coming to the emergency room where they put me through a myriad of tests. They put me on Warfarin and it was a nightmare with all the constant blood testing.

Not being satisfied, I sought the finest cardiologist in Albany, N.Y. and he agreed, after I complained to let me take an 81mg aspirin instead of Warfarin (rat poison). Remember I still had NO symptoms, but the MD’s insisted I take 2 or 3 other drugs besides the blood thinner. Several years went by and now I’m starting to show signs of typical heart disease. I moved out of the area and looked for a new cardiologist. He insisted I take a whole new cocktail of drugs, including, you guessed it, Eloquis. No way could I afford it, so after samples ran out, the Pharm. company sent it to me free for a year and suddenly it didn’t show up any more!

Thank God, because my side effects were several, weakness, rapid weight gain, dizzyness and more. I weaned myself off 2 of the other drugs, which were BP drugs, because I never had high BP in the 1st place. I’m back on one small aspirin twice daily and my BP is as good as it ever was, but I DO supplement with several natural vitamins and minerals that promote heart health. I am convinced that “natural” is the only way to go and I strongly recommend LONGEVITY products! Google Dr. Joel Wallach for a real eye opener!

My husband passed away 4 years ago from bleeding caused by Coumadin. He at first had black stools and when we got him into the hospital he had a brain bleed. He had a stroke several days later and passed away.

When I developed afib 3 years ago my Dr said you need to go on Coumadin. I said what else can I do. He did take a baby asprin every night. It’s been doing the job. I have not had an attack in over 2 years. Since then, I have asked him about the newer medications. He doesn’t like them and said no just stick to what is working.

I will not go to a cardiologist. The only Dr I see is my primary and on occasion an ortho Dr for a knee shot. I am getting so I don’t trust any Dr except my primary. That happened after a cardiologist told my husband that every person over 65 should be on Coumadin. ….what!!!! That sealed it for me.

Sorry to hear you also have a-fib :( I just started taking the baby aspirin because my a-fib (caused by a stupid dr overdosing my thyroid meds) usually goes about 2 years between episodes but recently had 2 in 2 months and the cardiologist started telling me I must go on Eliquis.

I suggested aspirin but his response was that a study was done that proved Eliquis worked 50% better than aspirin. Frankly, for now, at least I am going with the baby aspirin.

I tried coumadin for several months after being diagnosed with Afib, but couldn’t seem to keep a steady level. Finally changed to Xeralto once a day and it seemed fine. I do notice that I’ve begun to experience very stiff knees and arthritis in my fingers/hands. It seems to be escalating and I’m getting worried. I also take flecainide and Diltiazem Erc. Generally, I feel like I’ve been going downhill since taking these medications. Has anyone experience anything similar?

Yes Patti,

I started Xarelto 4 months ago, I have unusual itches on my left face, knee pain, muscle spasm and lately my left brain feels strange. I really feel like to get off, but Doc don’t recommend. He felt that if I have another episode, he will get blamed for getting me off the Xarelto. Go figure!

My wife was recently diagnosed with Afib and give Prada a twice a day, she is 72, should I be worried

I have been on Xarelto for six months after having a sub mass saddle Pulmonary embolism and DVT. I have headaches, my legs are aching, no energy but I am alive. I need to have oral surgery and I am afraid to after reading about the stroke or blood clot risk if I quit taking it.

go to afibbers.org for great information re a-fib

I believe there is currently a class-action lawsuit on behalf of people who have suffered catastrophic side-effects from Xarelto.

I hate to even bring this up but it is happening. There are some doctors that accept large amounts of cash from the drug makers. I believe that most doctors stand behind the oath they swear by. It’s a shame that a few will destroy the respect that the majority has earned. The drug company’s also need to be held responsible for allowing or encouraging employee’s to even suggest to a doctor that this is being done.
I will refuse new meds until the 7 year wait is done. Sad to say, there will be people that die to prove if it’s safe or not safe.
I’m thankful that we have “People’s Pharmacy” and others that are honest and tell it for what it is.

I was wondering if anyone has any useful information on Pure Prescription’s Cardiokinase. Due to some strokes I’ve had my doctors put me on Coumadin. They thought the strokes were from Afib but haven’t been able to find me having Afib. My daughter says the Cardiokinase works better than the Coumadin without the side effects and is natural.

What is wrong with just taking a baby asprin every night or a few times a week? When I first got A fib, my primary Dr said, “You should see a Cardiologist”. I said to him, “Do you feel comfortable handling this problem?” He said yes, he would be glad to. HE GAVE me a medication and wanted me to take Coumadin, or, he said you could take a baby asprin every night.

I asked what was the difference in getting a stroke? He said between the two, the Coumadin has a 3% more chance of not having a stroke. I chose the asprin. That was about 10 years ago. MY A fib is controlled and because of other problems, the Dr has put me on a baby asprin 3 times a week.

Since that time, my husband has passed away. He was sent to a cardiologist because of breathing problems. THE cardiologist put him on coumiden. It was tested once a week for 2 years and was fine. Then he went to a urologist and had surgery for prostate cancer. ALL of a sudden about 3 years later the coumiden levels were erattic. The primary Dr tested and found blood in his urine. He was sent to the hospital where many tests were done.

His mind started to sway. THEY said it was dimentia. One night he didn’t seem quite right acted like he didn’t know anyone and even though we were married 55 years he thought my daughter was me. We put it off to the dimentia. When we came in the next day he was laying there with one arm in the air. He was alive but my son and I both at the same time said, “He’s had a stroke”. He died in hospice 3 days later. HE was 77. It was found that his brain had been bleeding for awhile. he had had 3 small strokes before the big one. COUMIDEN was found to be the culprit. Let me stress that the cardiologist had insisted he take the coumiden. He said the asprin wouldn’t work.

THIS is why I trust my primary care Dr to handle anything he feels comfortable with. I want to have only one Dr as it was many n years ago. This Dr knows me for 15 years. I trust him completely.

Are there any reports on Brilinta?

I just read all the comments on blood thinners. I am currently on Xarelto and after one year, I do not seem to have any horrible side effects. One day, I asked my cardiologist about the symptoms of internal bleeding, as this is my first experience with a blood thinner.

An intelligent question from a very intelligent person. Do you know what his reply was??? Oh, you will know it if it happens!!!! Not much of an answer…. peggy t.

One thing that was not mentioned as a possible side effect of Eliquis is memory loss. I was put on Eliquis in March of this year for afib and for the last month or two I have noticed that my normally good memory is beginning to decline. I also take lisinopril which increases my odds of memory loss.

The problem with the NOACs is that some rushed company trials and over looked cautions with no antidotes in a race simply to get their share of the very lucrative market to replace Warfarin.
My 79 year-old husband has mild afib as diagnosed by a 48-hour Holter monitor. He first was prescribed Eliquis, which he never took because we discovered it has no antidote for bleeding, but we were never advised of this fact at the time.

The cardiologist then placed him on Pradaxa which does have an antidote–if the hospital carries it! At a cost of $300+ for a 30-day prescription with Medicare, we knew this was not the answer. Doctors are overlooking the very dangerous and possible adverse effects of these drugs that really make their work easier because they do not require any testing.

After four weeks on Pradaxa, he had such severe stomach aches and pain that he asked to be placed on Warfarin. I will report his adverse experience to Medwatch.

Elderly people are more susceptible to hemorrhage. The German company Boehringer Ingelheim withheld important analyses on Pradaxa to regulators. In May 2014, the BMJ found “bleeding risks of Pradaxa were underestimated as much as 66% . . .and company also withheld analyses that calculated how many major bleeds a dose adjustment could prevent.” The company stated that only 40% of the participants in their RE-LY trial were over 75 and only 17% over 80. Not very good representation for those over 75 suffering most of the problems which number many millions worldwide.

“It’s clear that testing to monitor the drug could make this a much safer and effective drug, but this would weaken their main selling point of no testing necessary (People’s Pharmacy 7/24/2014)” A spokesman for Boehringer said that the company “never told EMA or any regulatory authority that 200 ng/mL was a level not to be exceeded.”

According to the BMJ, upwards of 40 percent of patients who reported serious bleeding events or died as a result of taking Pradaxa could have avoided this fate if they had just had regular blood testing. Smaller dosing could also be a better safety factor because elderly people react quite differently and are more sensitive to various medications.

To date, Xarelto also lacks an antidote to prevent hemorrhaging. Warfarin also can lead to bleeding, but at least there is an antidote and the cost of the drug is very affordable. My husband feels much better on it and has no stomach pains. We just carefully watch what he eats to keep his daily Vitamin K levels consistent.

Was it possible, in the research with patients who had bleeding in some form after taking the newer anticoagulants, that the patient may have inadvertently taken a double dose? It isn’t always easy to
remember whether a pill taken every day, twice a day, has or hasn’t been taken. Best to opt out of taking one if there is a question, in my view.

You stated “There was a time when warfarin (Coumadin) was the main blood thinner prescribed to prevent clots.” WRONG! Is not a blood thinner, is an Anticoagulant.

We were not aware there was a difference, technically.

I appreciate your attention to the dangers of certain of the better known bloodthinners. Very scary.
Unfortunately, the article stopped short of offering suggested substitutes. Aren’t there any that are reasonably safe?

All of the anticoagulant drugs we know about have hazards and require careful attention.

Your remarks above certainly distress me in the light of what I’ve heard or read in other cases where the pt is taking one of these “new anticoagulation meds” like Xeralto, Eliquis, etc.
I’ve been taking this anticoagulant for about a month–with no noticeable adverse effects–like those many adverse that I read in notes from your People’s Pharmacy readers from 2013 to the present.
Their narratives written were exceedingly unsettling to me, my family, friends and those patients from 3 years ago to the present. I kept looking for anyone of your readers in their comments who may have shared positive experiences–I do not remember reading even one that was positive. My cardiologist and an electrophysiologist urged me to take the anticoagulant med prescribed this summer in light of my relatively new diagnosis of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Though, Chicken that I am, my cardiologist 4 months ago prescribed an anticoagulant–I didn’t take it for 3 months given my apprehensions in the wake of my reviews of others’ experiences. I did my usual years long of taking 81 mg baby aspirin a day and my usual exercise regimen 3-5 days a week including aerobic exercises, yoga classes, NIA, meditation, etc. But the MD.s above urged me to begin the Rx immediately given my family medical history of strokes, MI’s etc. including my Brief TIA over 20 years ago and a possible TIA about a decade ago. Is the FDA pursuing any data that is proving useful as to the development of more benign anticoagulants and safer surgical procedures for extinguishing afibs?

Why did the doctors stop having their patients take Aspirin? That seems much safer

Does Plavix or its generic Clopidogrel enter into this conversation? My husband had carotid surgery, triple by-pass and pacemaker installed due to fibrillation in 2005 and has NEVER been the same since.

He was also put on Warfarin and taken off of it, and then Plavix and then to the generic. He, over these 11 years, has gone from walking unassisted, then with a cane, then a walker and now gets pushed in a walker or wheelchair and cannot walk at all. His legs have just become so stiff and not functioning – has had many rounds of therapy over these years, to no avail (had a fall while in college and injured his one knee, but after the initial incident was fine and had polio when a small child); also he is now diagnosed with heart failure and is in hospice care at home,

Two weeks after these surgeries he nearly passed out in the bathroom and from that night on has had a has had a severe balance problem, He has had several CT scans with several different neurologists, cannot have a MRI due to the pacemaker – nothing questionable going on they say. He is nearly bedridden now and the prognosis is that he will be completely bedridden any day now, but he is still on the Plavix (generic) med. Could there be any connection? Seems too late to do very much about it now after all of these years, but the doctor’s comments like “old age” or you are still with us, so what’s the problem? are not cutting it.

I have questioned doctors and therapists about post-polio syndrome to no avail. His vision has been sorely affected and he has COPD and severe circulation problems.
Still trying,

I had my first episode in 2014. I ended up in ER – the emergency doctor’s felt I could easily take one full aspirin and day and I would be fine. My heart doctor insisted I go through about 8 weeks of Warfran. I did not do well on it – very, very tired and slept a lot. I talked the doctor into letting me take an aspirin, which I was very happy on in 2015. I get an emergency call from a nurse telling me to quit the aspirin that was October of 2015. I was reluctant, but did stop the aspirin, and had an episode, and put on Xarleto – then Eliquis. The drugs affect my brain, and when on Xarleto for about a year – had horrific nightmares. I stopped taking it, but the doctor insisted I go on Eliquis. The drugs affect my brain. I am wanting to quit again – family member is terrified for me to do so….I think we are ginne (spl?)pigs. We need the truth

I’m always interested to read about blood thinning drugs. I deal with atrial fibrillation and have use Warfarin for more than 8 years without any adverse incidents. I’m totally sold on the “old tried & true”. Just because a pill is new, doesn’t mean it’s any better!
I’m staying with the Warfarin , it works without problems and is very, very reasonably priced.
Thanks for your constant upkeep of information!!

I have bin taking xarelto 20 mg about 2 months ,had nose bleeds last two morning ,lasting 5-6 hr. what is my alternative med I can take ?

Dr. Carolyn Dean, a cardiologist has a recent book out on ‘A-Fib’ and she seems to have tamed the A-Fib beast with magnesium. Especially, the easily absorbed versions she has formulated herself. Worth looking into!

Can you develop an article on the daily use of 81mg of Asprin – the extent of its affect on possible GI bleeding – diverticulosis/diverticulitis.

my mother too died from bleeding. By the time they found out her medicine was causing bleed internally, it was too late. That was 10 year ago. Until recentrly no one has said anything about this med.

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