Oct 23, 2017 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

A-Fib Patients May Be Getting The Wrong Dosage Of Their Blood Thinner Medications, Study Reveals

Jun 07, 2017 07:44 AM EDT

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A-Fib patients are known to use blood thinners for their heart rhythm problem, atrial fibrillation. However, researchers discovered that some patients might not be receiving the correct dosage of thinners appropriate for them.

According to Web MD, a team from assessed records from October 2010 to September 2015 that included A-Fib patients who took blood thinners such as apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa) or rivaroxaban (Xarelto). The result was said to be that 16 percent of the 15,000 A-Fib patients have received dosage which is not on par with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeling.

"Dosing errors of these blood-thinning medications in patients with atrial fibrillation are common and have concerning adverse outcomes," said study lead author and researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Xiaoxi Yao. Pradaxa or Xarelto users were determined to have no underdosing and stroke or bleeding risks compared to Eliquis users which were said to have it's underdose cause a higher risk of stroke.

With that said, 43 percent of the A-Fib patients with kidney impairment were discovered to take a potential overdose. The patients without severe kidney disease were identified to have received a potential under dose. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

A cardiologist, Dr. Peter Noseworthy stated that overdosing is a huge problem but could be avoided through monitoring regular kidney function. “I think physicians often choose to reduce the dose when they anticipate their patients are at a particularly high bleeding risk -- independent of kidney function,” Noseworthy added as he mentioned that underdose for A-Fib patients is more complex.

On the other hand, Belmarra Health reported that aspirin therapy may not have an effective effect in A-Fib patients at all. The study author and director of Heart Rhythm Research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, Jared Bunch stated that their team discovered that A-Fib patients which had been subjected to catheter ablation have no benefits from aspirin at all.

Nonetheless, Bunch concluded that doctors still give A-Fib patients’ aspirin instead of stronger anticoagulants if the patients only have a low risk for stroke. The study also stated that A-Fib patients were better when they were treated with ablation therapy than with aspirin. Bunch and his team then believed that studies such as theirs should enable prescribing preventative drugs to be assessed thoroughly.

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