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A-fib patients who need anticoagulants now have a choice: less money, or less hassle?

Sometimes known as “blood thinners,” anticoagulants are medicines to help keep your blood from clotting and help keep it flowing easily. For years, Coumadin [warfarin] has been the anticoagulant for a-fib and other patients who may be at higher risk for stroke.

But last fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Pradaxa [dabigatran] for stroke prevention in a-fib patients. In clinical trial, not only did Pradaxa patients experience fewer strokes than patients on warfarin, but they also don’t have to continually monitor their clotting speed via blood tests, like they do with warfarin.

But such convenience doesn’t come cheap.

“Several of our patients have chosen to take warfarin rather than dabigatran simply due to the current cost of the new medication,” notes TCAI Nurse Educator Wendy Brandhorst. “But the patients who have chosen Pradaxa have been pleased not to need frequent blood testing or modifications to their diet.”

~ Jamie LaRue, RN

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