Heart patients could benefit from a new blood thinning drug which could help cut their risk of stroke, guidance recommends.
Government regulator NICE says that patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), an irregular and sometimes faster heartbeat, can now use Rivaroxiban in replacement of the existing drug Warfarin.
This new findings follow NICE’s recent approval of another drug, Dabigatran, for AF. Experts say that these two new drugs are welcome options as Warfarin is known to be problematic, in some cases.
The side effects of Warfarin need close monitoring as well as repeated blood tests to ensure the correct dosage is given. Currently, AF affects around 800,000 people in the UK.
‘We know that some people taking warfarin can find it difficult to maintain their blood clotting at a proper level. Rivaroxaban, like dabigatran etexilate, which NICE recently approved as an option for this indication, can benefit people with AF. We are therefore pleased to recommend rivaroxaban as another cost-effective option for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in people with atrial fibrillation.’ Says Professor Carole Longson of NICE.
The recommendations apply to NHS patients in the UK and Wales.
Advice given by The British Heart Foundation is that any patients considering opting for this new drug must first discuss it with their GP’s.
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