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 […]

Mexico congress recap — Is it selfish for doctors not to be on Social Media?

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When Dr Eduardo Hernandez Castillo (@CardioLeaks) asked me to come to Mexico to speak with a group of physicians about the power of social media, I paused. Should I go to Mexico? I have been traveling a lot; it was a long trip; I was just starting to get fit again, and the atrial fibrillation/anticoagulation […]

New post on Medscape/Cardiology: My take of the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation treatment guidelines

Atrial fibrillation affects millions of patients, and its incidence and prevalence are on the rise. It’s a peculiar disease in that it affects people so differently. When populations are studied, AF associates with higher rates of stroke, heart failure and death. But patients aren’t populations. In recent years, the treatment options for this pesky disease […]

13 things to know about Atrial Fibrillation

Here are 13 things I tell AF patients. I am sorry that you have AF. Welcome to the club, there are many members. (Three million Americans and counting.) I know how it feels. Your fatigue, shortness of breath and uneasiness in the chest are most likely related to your AF. AF may pass without treatment. […]

Doctors play an important role in improving US healthcare woes

Elisabeth Rosenthal, a reporter with the New York Times, is doing American doctors a favor. Her series, Paying Till it Hurts, is forcing us to face our role in the US healthcare problem. That’s a good thing, because, as it goes in the practice of Medicine, the first step to achieving good outcomes is identifying […]

New post up at Medscape Cardiology: Are novel anticoagulants better than warfarin?

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For the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation, the novel anticoagulant drugs dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim), rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Bayer Pharma/Janssen Pharmaceuticals), apixaban (Eliquis, Pfizer/Bristol-Myers Squibb), and edoxaban (Lixiana, Daiichi-Sankyo) have been sold as both superior and more convenient than warfarin. But is this true? More than 60,000 patients have been enrolled in randomized controlled clinical […]

Are doctors being duped through medical education? Could social media help?

I made a discovery this week about the novel anticoagulant medications, dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis) and edoxaban (Lixiana). I was looking into the often-asked question of how these new drugs compare to the old standard, warfarin. The discovery felt like a Eureka moment. I ran it by my stats guy–my son–and a couple […]

Recap of 2013 American Heart Association Session

Just a few weeks before the 2013 American Heart Association Sessions, Shelley Wood, the managing news editor of theheart.org emailed to ask if I was up for going to the meeting. With trips to San Francisco, Denver, Athens and Amsterdam already in the books this year, I had counted 2013 as a win. I was […]

Update on anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation: Encouraging news for rivaroxaban (Xarelto)

It’s time to do an update on the treatment of atrial fibrillation. It’s been a while, and there are worthy things to report from the real world. Stroke prevention in AF: Always start with basics: The most important aspect of treating atrial fibrillation is preventing stroke. Although there are some innovative devices and procedures in […]

Is it safe to take aspirin and warfarin together?

The ultimate goal in medicine: protect the patient from stroke. Even a heart doctor has to admit the dominance of the human brain. Always think about preventing stroke. It’s one of the worst outcomes that can happen to a person. Life as a ‘normal’ human requires a healthy brain. A stroke irreversibly kills off part […]

New post up at theHeart.org: What were the best stories of 2012 in heart rhythm care?

As most of you know, I also write a column (Trials and Fibrillations) over at the online Cardiology news site, theHeart.org. My most recent article highlights what I thought were the top news stories in electrophysiology in 2012. There were many. Gosh were there ever. I broke a major rule of writing online articles: It […]