611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
CDC Warns of Drug-Resistant Salmonella in Beef, CheeseJust One Pill for All Your Heart Health Needs? It's On the WayMixing Marijuana With Opioids May Not Be Good for Mental HealthLarge Opioid Rx After Heart, Lung Surgery Often Leads to Misuse: StudyWhy Diet Sodas Aren't the Answer for Your Sugary Drink CravingsTB Cases Drop Among the Young, But Racial Disparities PersistCases of Lung Injury Tied to Vaping Keep RisingFish Oil Not a Magic Pill Against DiabetesFacing Up to a Lesser Known Form of Migraine PainDirty Air Is Deadly, Global Study ConfirmsSmoggy Air Might Contribute to Macular DegenerationMore Antibiotics, Higher Odds for Colon Cancer?The Merits of Physical TherapyVaping Constricts Blood Vessels, Raising Heart, Lung ConcernsWhen Does Heart Health Return to Normal After Quitting Smoking?New Antibiotic Approved for Community-Acquired Bacterial PneumoniaImplant Approved to Improve Symptoms in Advanced Heart Failure'No Quick Fix' for A-Fib, But Cardiologist Says You Can Help Prevent ItAHA News: Why Do Women Get Statins Less Frequently Than Men?'Dr. Google' Helps Some Patients Diagnose a Rare DiseaseHealth Tip: Recognizing a Staph InfectionIs Dairy Fat Different?CDC Recommends Catch-Up HPV Vaccination for Young AdultsHow to Relieve Dry, Irritated EyesPretomanid Approved for Treatment of Drug-Resistant TBAHA News: Tiring Easily May Warn of Future Heart TroubleAmerica's Obesity Epidemic May Mean Some Cancers Are Striking SoonerHeavy Smog as Bad as Pack-a-Day Smoking for LungsConcussed NFL Players Sidelined for Much Longer NowadaysHormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Might Harm the Heart: StudyObesity and 'Spare Tire' Raise Hispanics' Odds for Early DeathAHA News: Protein Made During Long Workouts May Warn of Heart ProblemsHow to Help Your Heart Weather Extreme HeatHealth Threats Don't End for Some Sepsis SurvivorsHeat Waves Brought by Climate Change Could Prove Deadly for Kidney PatientsHealth Tip: Avoiding AnemiaAre You Still Putting Off Colon Cancer Screening?Tips for Preventing DiverticulitisFDA Reports More Seizures Among VapersKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyCan Major Surgeries Cause a Long-Term 'Brain Drain'?How Much Coffee Is Too Much for Migraine Sufferers?Steady Stream of Lesser Head Hits in Football Can Still Damage BrainDon't Sweat It: Hyperhydrosis Can Be TreatedFast-Food Joints on Your Way to Work? Your Waistline May WidenAdults Need Vaccines, TooHealth Tip: Managing Arthritis of the Hands'Selfies' Might Someday Track Your Blood PressureIn Heat Waves, Fans May Do More Harm Than GoodSmoking Creates Long-Lasting Risk for Clogged Leg Arteries
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Cardiologist Groups Say Newer Blood Thinners Best Against A-Fib

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 28th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Newer blood thinners are recommended over warfarin for people with the heart condition called atrial fibrillation (a-fib) in updated treatment guidelines issued by three major American heart groups.

The newer drugs are called non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs). Examples include dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis). They don't require the same frequent monitoring of blood-clotting levels as the older clot-preventing drug warfarin (Coumadin) does. They also don't have the same drug and food interactions that warfarin does.

"The evidence continues to come in that NOACs work and work well," said Dr. Craig January, co-chairman of the guideline update group. The recommendations were a joint effort of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the Heart Rhythm Society.

Besides highlighting the usefulness of new blood thinners for most people with a-fib, the guidelines also highlight the importance of losing weight if you have the condition.

Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to beat erratically. The upper chambers of the heart (atria) normally beat smoothly, moving blood through the heart. If you have a-fib, your atria sometimes quiver instead of beating strongly, the American Heart Association (AHA) says.

When this happens, blood pools up and clots may form. Once the heart is beating normally again, those clots can be thrown into your bloodstream. That can cause a stroke by blocking a blood vessel in the brain. A-fib causes up to 20 percent of strokes, according to the AHA.

While there are several treatments for a-fib, blood thinners (anti-coagulants) have long been a mainstay. They reduce stroke risk by making it less likely that pooled blood will clot.

For many years, warfarin was the drug used for this purpose. But patients on warfarin need to have their blood monitored, typically about once a month, January said. There are also many healthy foods that people taking warfarin are told to avoid, including green vegetables like broccoli.

About a decade ago, the newer anti-coagulants started entering the market. January said these medications seem to have a slightly lower risk of causing excess bleeding, and they don't last as long in the body.

"They wear off much more rapidly," he said, adding that "NOACs appear to be safer drugs."

Two groups of people with a-fib shouldn't use the newer drugs, only because there's not enough evidence that they're safe and effective in these groups. One is people with moderate to severe mitral stenosis -- narrowing of one of the valves in the heart. The other group is people who have had a heart valve replaced with a mechanical one, January said.

But weight loss, another focus of the updated guidelines, is likely good for anyone with a-fib.

The guidelines say losing weight can reduce health risks associated with a-fib. It's even possible that weight loss might reduce a-fib. Losing weight also helps lower high blood pressure, a known risk factor for a-fib.

Dr. Gioia Turitto, director of cardiac electrophysiology services at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City, said her patients like the newer blood thinners.

"They don't have to come in for blood work and they can eat whatever they want, and there are less interactions with other drugs," she said.

But Turitto has one major concern with the newer drugs: cost. Patients can often get warfarin for a few dollars per month, while a prescription for the newer medications may run hundreds of dollars, and some insurers balk at their cost.

Turitto agreed that weight loss is important, although she tends to focus on goals that are more achievable, such as adherence to medications and quitting smoking. But she said losing weight can help treat sleep apnea, a risk factor for a-fib.

The new guidelines were published simultaneously Jan. 28 in Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the journal HeartRhythm.

More information

Learn more about atrial fibrillation from the American Heart Association.