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Apixaban (Eliquis) gets FDA approval

Yesterday afternoon, the FDA finally approved apixaban (Eliquis) for the prevention of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. I use the words ‘finally approved’ because the markedly positive ARISTOTLE trial was published 15 months ago in the New England Journal of Medicine. The long delay was mysterious. On paper, apixaban looks to be the… Continue reading Apixaban (Eliquis) gets FDA approval

New post up on Trials and Fibrillations…Apixaban (Eliquis) was supposed to beat Pradaxa and Xarelto?

There was big news this week on the much-anticipated, but yet-to-be-evaluated novel blood thinner, apixaban (Eliquis). The FDA wants more information from the ARISTOTLE trial. They have inquired about “data management and verification.” That sounds serious. I made some comments about apixaban over at Trials and Fibrillations on theHeart.org. Here’s the mystery: Apixaban boasts incredibly… Continue reading New post up on Trials and Fibrillations…Apixaban (Eliquis) was supposed to beat Pradaxa and Xarelto?

New post up on Trials and Fibrillation blog: Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban and Apixaban

For 57 years, doctors and patients have eagerly awaited an adequate substitute for the maligned blood thinner, warfarin. Now they are here. Boy are they ever. There has been oodles written about the new blood thinners, dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (soon to be Eliquis). As you might expect, thinning the blood with a… Continue reading New post up on Trials and Fibrillation blog: Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban and Apixaban

How dangerous are NSAIDs in patients with AF?

One of the most commonly asked questions in the office is the treatment of arthritis pain. This comes up because of the concern over taking NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in patients who are on anticoagulants (such as warfarin, or dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban). My views on this matter have changed. But first, I want to… Continue reading How dangerous are NSAIDs in patients with AF?

Take-home messages from Western AF 2018

The Western AF symposium may have had corporate sponsors, but it was no boondoggle. The sessions start at 0715 and go through 1830. Your head spins at the end of the conference. I learned a lot. Here are some fast-writing thoughts: New Energy Source for Ablation Electroporation looks to be a promising new energy source… Continue reading Take-home messages from Western AF 2018

Statins, Like All Medicines, Are Neither Good Nor Bad

We have to talk about drugs. No, not illicit drugs, but medications used by doctors and patients. Plaintiff attorneys run ads on TV that fool people into thinking certain meds are bad. The current one I deal with is the clot-blocking drug rivaroxaban (Xarelto.) Before that, it was dabigatran (Pradaxa). If, or when, the makers… Continue reading Statins, Like All Medicines, Are Neither Good Nor Bad

Small Clots on Replacement Aortic Valves Deserve Attention

A large study presented at last month’s American College of Cardiology meeting reported that slightly more than 1 in 10 patients with aortic valve replacements (tissue valve) had small clots on the leaflet of the new valve. The study included 890 patients. The clots, which doctors call “subclinical thrombosis,” cannot be seen on regular echo… Continue reading Small Clots on Replacement Aortic Valves Deserve Attention

My latest on the NOAC drugs for AFib

Three weeks ago I wrote about the growing dominance of the new oral anticoagulant (NOAC) drugs for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. (Another common name for these drugs is direct acting oral anticoagulants or DOACs.) The post generated many comments–some privately and some on the blog. Your responses induced me to think a… Continue reading My latest on the NOAC drugs for AFib

2017 update on the changing use of “blood thinners” for AF

Times have changed in the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). First some background: The first of the four pillars of AF care is stroke prevention. The only proven means to protect patients with AF from stroke is use of drugs that block clotting factors–or anticoagulants. Some people call these drugs blood thinners. I… Continue reading 2017 update on the changing use of “blood thinners” for AF

Update: Social justice of AF care, NOAC monitoring, population health and two new podcasts

Hi All, Here is a short update of the past week. The first thing to say is the Atrial Fibrillation Care: Put the Catheter (and Rx Pad) Down post has gotten a lot of attention. It stayed on the most popular list all week. It has over a 130 comments, and I have received many… Continue reading Update: Social justice of AF care, NOAC monitoring, population health and two new podcasts

Getting the dabigatran (Pradaxa) story right… Correcting four common mistakes.

This purpose of this post is to clarify misstatements made in a recent New York Times article about the anticoagulant drug dabigatran (Pradaxa). The piece had three major inaccuracies, plus one thought-error from a cardiology leader. I write these words because the most valuable tool in the treatment of AF is knowledge. Getting it right… Continue reading Getting the dabigatran (Pradaxa) story right… Correcting four common mistakes.