Atrial Fibrillation Medications

Medications Available For Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that can potentially increase the risk of a stroke. The good news is that there are many medications that can be used to treat atrial fibrillation. The purpose of medication is to decrease the risk of a stroke and control the rate and rhythm of the heart.

Atrial Fibrillation Medications

There are a number of medications that are available to treat atrial fibrillation. Below are some of the medications that can be prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation:

Anti-Arrhythmics

Anti-arrhythmic drug work by restoring the normal sinus rhythm of the heart. There are both oral and intravenous medications that can be used to restore normal heart rhythm. These drugs are often administered in a hospital where the heart rate is monitored continuously. Physicians will prescribe a similar drug to restore the heart rhythm for the patient to take at home. Rythmol and Pacerone are examples of some of the anti-arrhythmic drugs that can be prescribed. Many patients will have to take these medications for the rest of their lives.

These types of medications are effective, but some patients who take them may experience side effects. Dizziness, fatigue and nausea are some of the most common symptoms that come along with taking one of these medications. A small percentage of patients who take anti-arrhythmic drugs may experience a ventricular arrhythmia. This is a condition that occurs when the lower chambers of the heart began to contract irregularly.

Lanoxin

Lanoxin is a medication that can help control heart rate. It is effective for controlling heart rate at rest, but it is not as effective for controlling heart rate during activity. That is why patients are often required to take additional medications along with Lanoxin, such as Beta Blockers.

Warfarin

Because people with atrial fibrillation are at an increased risk for developing blood clots, doctors often prescribe blood thinners. Warfarin is one of the blood thinners that can be prescribed. This drug is effective, but patients who are prescribed this drug have to be monitored closely. Warfarin, like many other blood thinners, can increase the risk of severe bleeding.

Other Anticoagulants

Newer anticoagulants are safer than older ones. Pradaxa is one of the newest blood thinners. It is very similar to Warfarin. Eliquis is another medication that can be used to prevent blood clots.