How does aspirin affect atrial fibrillation?


Quick Answer

Recent studies show that aspirin does not decrease the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients and may increase the risk of bleeding, explains Everyday Health. This new data replaces old studies suggesting that aspirin played a significant role in decreasing the chance of stroke.

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How does aspirin affect atrial fibrillation?
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Full Answer

Aspirin is an antiplatelet medication, otherwise known as a blood thinner, that helps prevent and break up blood clots in both the heart and veins, explains Healthline. Blood clots in the brain block the flow of blood and cause a stroke. Aspirin is ineffective in preventing or breaking up these blood clots in atrial fibrillation patients, according to a video interview with Dr. Albert Waldo on StopAfib.org.

New treatment plans for atrial fibrillation patients suggests less use of aspirin and an increased use of improved anticoagulants such as Warfarin and Pradaxa, which are better blood-thinning drugs and more effective in preventing blood clots, reports Everyday Health.

Anticoagulants increase the risk of bleeding more than aspirin does, but bleeding is manageable, and it is more important to decrease the risk of stroke, explains StopAfib.org. As of 2015, many countries and societies, including Japan and the European Society of Cardiology, have already discontinued the use of aspirin in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, or intend to discontinue use in the near future.

Atrial fibrillation is a progressive disease characterized by irregular heartbeat, states StopAfib.org. It causes heart palpitations and dizziness, and it increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.

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