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What are some medications to treat atrial fibrillation?

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According to WebMD, some of the medications used to treat atrial fibrillation include sotalol, flecainide, propafenone, dofetilide, dronedarone and amiodarone. These medications are used to revert the heart from the irregular rhythm of atrial fibrillation back to normal sinus rhythm, and they are also used to help the heart maintain a normal rhythm after a person undergoes an electrocardioversion procedure.

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These medications also help relieve symptoms of shortness of breath and palpitations, which sometimes accompany atrial fibrillation, according to WebMD. However, anti-arrhythmic drugs also produce side effects, including dizziness, weakness, nausea, edema or swelling of the legs and a slowed heart rate.

Another goal in the treatment of atrial fibrillation is the prevention of blood clots, states the Mayo Clinic. A person who suffers from atrial fibrillation is at a higher risk of developing a blood clot, which can lead to a stroke. Medications used to thin the blood include warfarin, Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis. Patients taking warfarin must have regular blood work to monitor the level of Coumadin, which causes bleeding if the level is too high. Newer anti-coagulants such as Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis don't require monitoring, but they are not recommended for people who have a mechanical heart valve.

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