Medications to help atrial fibrillation
Many people may not realize that Atrial fibrillation, which is also called AFib, can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Afib is an arrythmia or irregular heartbeat.
Patients with Afib describe feeling as if their heart skips a beat or beats very fast. They may experience nausea, lightheadedness, weakness, fatigue or trouble breathing especially during exercise. In some cases, patients do not experience any symptoms from atrial fibrillation but are diagnosed during a regular check-up with their doctor.
If diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, your Lakewood CCL cardiologist may recommend certain medicines to help reduce the symptoms and lower the risk of this condition.
Three types of medications for AFib
After assessing your condition and overall health, your Lakewood CCL specialist may prescribe any of the following types of medicines to treat Afib:
Medicines to control heart rate are often called “beta blockers” and include metoprolol (brand names: Lopressor, Toprol XL) and carvedilol (brand names: Coreg). Also, diltiazem (brand name: Cardizem) which is a “calcium channel blocker,” works to slow down the speed of your heartbeat.
Medicines to control heart rhythm include amiodarone (brand names: Cordarone, Pacerone) and sotalol (brand name: Betapace). These medicines work by encouraging the heart to stay in normal rhythm.
Medicines to help prevent blood clots are called “anticoagulants or “blood thinners.” They include apixaban (brand name: Eliquis), dabigatran (brand name: Pradaxa), edoxaban (brand names: Savaysa, Lixiana), rivaroxaban (brand name: Xarelto), and warfarin (brand name: Coumadin, Jantoven). These drugs do not actually thin the blood, but they are quite effective in preventing strokes.
In some cases, the Lakewood CCL medical team, serving The Villages, Leesburg, Wildwood and areas throughout Lake County, Sumter County and Marion County, will prescribe more than one kind of medicine to treat you.
It is important for patients with Afib to take the medications exactly as the doctor prescribes and to let all of your doctors and the pharmacy know all medicines you take, including any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbs.
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