Harvard Men's Health Watch

Anticlotting therapy for atrial fibrillation: Should you stay with the devil you know?

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"There are pros and cons to both options.
—Dr. Christian Ruff, cardiologist

Preventing stroke with warfarin (Coumadin) can be tricky. New anticlotting drugs can help if you accept certain trade-offs—and take them exactly as directed.

When a man's natural heart rhythm gets out of whack, often the problem is atrial fibrillation (AF)—the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia. The most important development in AF treatment in recent years is a new generation of medications to prevent AF's main health risk: blood clots that form in the jittery upper chambers of the heart and flow downstream to the brain, causing a stroke.

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