Warfarin, the blood-thinning drug, is standard treatment for people with atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes abnormal heart rhythms – but it could be doing more harm than good.
The drug is routinely prescribed to help prevent stroke, but new research suggests that many patients taking warfarin are getting no benefit from it, and could be running a risk of excessive bleeding.
Only those with atrial fibrillation who have a high risk of stroke should continue taking warfarin, say researchers from the University of Cincinnati. A safer drug should be found for the majority who are at low risk.
(Source: Circulation, 2010; doi: 10.1161/circoutcomes.110.958108).