A better option for stroke prevention?

A class of drugs called direct oral anticoagulant may be a safer choice for people with atrial fibrillation.


Image: © ttsz /Thinkstock

For more than 60 years, people at high risk for stroke from atrial fibrillation (afib) — an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots — had one choice of drug treatment: warfarin.

But new research has helped raise the profile of another type of medication called direct oral anticoagulant (DOACs), which appear to be just as effective as warfarin, but without many of warfarin's side effects.

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