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What are some AFib treatments?

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Atrial fibrillation may be treated to prevent blood clots from forming with the use of blood-thinning medications such as warfarin, dabigatran, heparin and aspirin, notes the National Institutes of Health. Some doctors may use medications or procedures to bring a patient's heart rhythm back to normal. These medications include amiodarone, propafenone, ibutilide, quinidine and disopyramide. Procedures include electrical cardioversion, catheter ablation, maze surgery and pacemaker implantation.

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Full Answer

Patients are also commonly prescribed medications to control heart rate, such as esmolol, propranolol, atenolol, verapamil and digoxin. Medications must be closely monitored, because some prescriptions are known to exacerbate the problem by creating new types of arrhythmias or worsening underlying heart conditions. Atrial fibrillation is treated according to a patient's full symptomatic profile and the severity of damage to the heart.

As the National Institutes of Health explains, patients have a stronger hope of restoring a regular heart rhythm and repairing the damage to their heart if symptoms are detected early, and treatment is instated quickly. Patients who suffer with atrial fibrillation longer than six months or are diagnosed with an accompanying heart condition are much less likely to recover. The condition allows blood to collect in the atria, which poses a serious threat to patients, as this occurrence can result in a stroke.

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