← Return to Taking Eliquis and Metoprolol for A-fib: Concerned about side effects

Discussion
Comment receiving replies
@elwood

Martin – just curious why you are on Warfin? The old gold standard but high maintenance. Xarelto and Eliquis so much easier to maintain – no dietary restrictions. Both now with meds to neutralize if needed. Sure you have good reasons. Would you share your thinking ?

Jump to this post


Replies to "Martin - just curious why you are on Warfin? The old gold standard but high maintenance...."

Hi @elwood. I get your question frequently — why do I stick with Warfarin as my anticoagulant? My answer is simple and to the point. There is a readily available antidote for Warfarin, but not for most other anticoagulants. Almost all hospitals (but with a few stupid exceptions) have the Warfarin antidote (a Vitamin K solution) on hand for use when it's needed. I have two personal experiences that drive my choice of Warfarin.

Three years ago, a neighbor on Warfarin fell off a ladder in his garage. I called 911 and the EMTs came and hauled him off to a hospital emergency room a mile away. An hour later, a medical helicopter picked him up and flew him to another hospital 20 miles away. Within another hour, he was pronounced dead from a hemorhaggic stroke — an uncontrolled brain bleed. The first hospital had no Warfarin antidote on hand. It's sister hospital 10 miles away could not rush it over either. So they called for the helicopter. The second hospital administered the proper antidote, but by that time, it was too late. I sang at his funeral a week later.

Another episode just last week involved a friend with A-fib who also takes an anticoagulant, but not Warfarin. I reminded him about my neighbor's fate. He called the doctor, asked about his medication, and was told it is a lot less trouble than Warfarin — lab tests, some diet restrictions, etc. In our pandemic environment, that's a bigger problem than before, risking the coronavirus to go to a medical laboratory for a periodic blood test required to remain safe under Warfarin. Even so, he is now looking for a doctor who will include Warfarin in his range of therapies for A-fib.

I remain upset about the death of my neighbor as a result of his treatment in a hospital that had no antidote for Warfarin on hand. As a result, my first question of doctors when I was rushed to the emergency room last Fall was "Do you have an antidote for Warfarin on hand?" They did. I resolved that I'll always ask that question when under treatment at any clinic or hospital, regardless of which anticoagulant I am taking at that time. I hope this gives you some options to consider and discuss with your doctors, hospital, and EMT services. Martin