blood thinners

  1. Blood thinners study falls way short

    New warning over blood thinners

    They're some of the most dangerous drugs on the planet -- a widely used class of medication with a notoriously high risk of complications up to and including death.

    But a new report claims the real problem with powerful new blood thinners such as Xarelto, Pradaxa, and Eliquis ISN'T the drugs themselves.

    It's the media!

    "The direct oral anticoagulants have been getting a lot of bad press," Dr. Byron Lee of UC San Francisco told HealthDay News. "Late-night TV commercials about class-action lawsuits scare patients into believing these new drugs are dangerous."

    It's true that the media can blow things out of proportion -- but, in this case, it's not the media or the lawsuits that are scary.

    It's the drugs themselves!

    If anything, these drugs haven't been given ENOUGH "bad press" -- because people are still taking them.

    And they're still suffering the consequences.

    The new study is part of the problem. It's getting plenty of attention -- GOOD press, mind you -- that will make patients believe these meds are safer than they've been hearing from TV commercials and the media.

    But it doesn't really prove they're safe.

    All the researchers did was compare the newer blood thinners to the old standard, warfarin, and they found that they have about the same risk level.

    Even if that's true -- and I have my doubts on that one -- that's nothing to brag about.

    Warfarin itself is one of the most dangerous drugs ever approved. One of the key reasons the expensive newer meds were pushed to the market was to give patients a safer option -- not a drug that's JUST as bad.

    Yet the new study shows that's pretty much what they are -- and the numbers in the new study certainly aren't anything to brag about.

    Over nearly three months, roughly 1 in 33 patients on these meds experienced a major bleeding problem, and about 1 in 50 actually DIED.

    That's not exactly a chance I'd want to take.

    And fortunately, in many cases, it's not a chance YOU have to take.

    The best way to thin the blood is to work closely with a doctor who can find why it thickened in the first place.

    One common cause is high levels of a protein called fibrinogen.

    The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can effectively slash fibrinogen and thin the blood without the same risk of bleeding problems.

    This is very serious business, so don't make any changes to your meds or supplements on your own. Work closely with a holistic medical doctor.

  2. Blood thinners unnecessary for some atrial fibrillation patients

    You might be able to ditch your blood thinners

    Living on blood thinners is living on the edge.

    These drugs can turn any minor cut into a gusher, transforming your bathroom or kitchen into what looks like a crime scene as you try to get the bleeding under control.

    Millions of Americans take the drugs and live with the risks anyway, but not because they like living on the edge.

    It's because they like living, period.

    Folks given blood thinners are told these are life-or-death meds -- and if you have atrial fibrillation (a.k.a. Afib), you've no doubt been told the drugs are the only thing standing between you and a deadly stroke.

    Well, friend, today I'm here to say you might be able to step away from the edge, as the latest research proves that many Afib patients may not need those meds after all.

    And, in some folks, these drugs not only won't STOP a stroke.

    They may actually CAUSE one!

    The study used a system called CHADS2 to measure stroke risk. That stands for the major stroke risk factors in AFib patients:

    Congestive Heart Failure
    Hypertension
    Age 75+
    Diabetes
    Stroke history

    Give yourself a point for everything you have on that list, and two points if you have that last one.

    Folks who have just one point or less may not need the drugs, according to the study. In these low-risk patients, the risk of a stroke actually rises when blood thinners enter the picture.

    Over five years, 4.6 percent of low-risk AFib patients taking aspirin as a blood thinner suffered strokes, or double the rate of the 2.3 percent who weren't on the meds.

    They also had a 50 percent higher risk of major bleeding, with 17.6 percent of aspirin patients suffering bleeds compared to 11.5 percent of those not on the drugs.

    Folks who were taking the more powerful -- and more dangerous -- blood thinner warfarin had a higher risk of both strokes and bleeds.

    The study found 5.7 percent of warfarin patients had a stroke over five years, compared to 2.6 percent not taking the drug. Warfarin patients also had a much higher risk of significant bleeds, 22.3 percent vs. 12.3 percent.

    That's a big loss for meds... and a big win for some of the patients who may be able to stop taking them.

    Just don't do this on your own.

    Atrial fibrillation can often be controlled with healthy lifestyle choices, but the stroke risk is very real for many patients... even if you don't have any of those CHADS2 risk factors.

    So, work closely with your doctor, especially when matters of medication are concerned.

  3. Don’t mix your blood thinners with statins

    Blood thinners are bad enough taken alone, but new research shows how combining one with a popular statin drug can increase your risk of serious bleeding problems.
  4. Pradaxa quickly climbs the list of dangerous drugs

    The blood thinner Pradaxa is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous drugs on the market, and is now at the center of a growing number of lawsuits.
  5. A choice you don't have to make

    Millions of seniors facing heart problems are forced to choose between bad and worse -- they're told to pick between aspirin and warfarin.
  6. New blood thinner boosts heart risk

    Blood thinners are supposed to reduce the risk of the blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke -- but a new drug that's intended to slash the risk of stroke can actually increase the odds of a heart attack.
  7. Real or fake, beware of meds

    The drug industry has a warning for you: Stay away from prescription meds. They're too dangerous. Not their drugs, of course -- the new warning campaign from Pfizer and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is designed to scare you away from buying your meds online.

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