If you’re taking warfarin for atrial fibrillation, you know you’re not alone. You probably know several other folks taking the drug for the exact same reason.
It’s the world’s most common blood thinner and one of the most popular drugs in the nation, especially among seniors – and you can get it either by prescription from your pharmacist or on the shelves at your local hardware store.
Because when you get a prescription filled for warfarin, you might as well be asking for rat poison.
Next time you’re with two of your warfarin-taking friends, draw straws. Odds are, one of you will suffer from damaging, devastating, and possibly even DEADLY bleeding in the brain – because the risk is 1 in 3!
The older you are, the higher your risk… and a shocking new study finds that seniors over the age of 75 could face the biggest risk of all.
The drug is supposed to cut the risk of a stroke, which is higher in A-fib patients; but the study finds it does a lousy job of that, too, with many still suffering from strokes anyway.
But the real worry is a bleed in your skull. They can strike out of the blue… or they can burst open when you fall and bump your head, possibly killing you right there.
It might take a little longer, but warfarin can still do to you what it does to rats. At least the rat poison comes in a box with a skull and crossbones. But when it gets repackaged in as its “drug” form in a pill bottle with far less scary packaging, it’s still poison.
The real shame of it is that not every A-fib patient faces a higher risk of stroke in the first place. Even by mainstream standards, more than a million A-fib patients don’t need warfarin… yet most are given the drug anyway.
And for my money, I think even the folks who do have that stroke risk could do without the med.
Don’t stop taking warfarin on your own, since that could trigger a whole new set of problems. But if you’re on the drug for A-fib, talk to a naturopathic doc about getting off the warfarin and onto something that won’t cause you to bleed right out your earholes.
In many cases, daily supplements of fish oil, a little weight loss, and some simple easy-to-follow lifestyle changes can help control the condition so well that you won’t need warfarin or any other bad-news med.
Whatever you do, don’t throw away your warfarin stash. It could still come in handy someday… if you have a rat infestation.