I am being prescribed Eliquis for atrial fibrillation. An herbalist friend suggested finding out id I can take curcumin instead. Doctors seem to always just order a drug. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart Rhythm Conditions Support Group.
I have never heard that curcumin thins blood. I am curious.
How often do you have afib and for how long? I have it about once a year but it is dramatic when it happens and I land in the hospital. I declined blood thinners and await a study on short term anticoagulation being used in practice.
If you go on afibbers.org there may be discussion of other ways to accomplish anticoagulation if you are interested.
@marniemeyers Welcome to Mayo Connect, a support group and discussion forum for a wide variety of medical topics.
Curcumin (or turmeric) as a supplement has recently gotten a great deal of attention for its anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties. Complementary medicine such as using herbs certainly has its place in our health care tool chest, when used responsibly and with the knowledge of your health care team.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that I routinely use 1200 mg (4 300mg doses) daily of turmeric as anti-inflammatory to help with arthritis and fibromyalgia. It has helped me a great deal, especially because my body can no longer tolerate NSAID's after over 30 years of daily use. My pain management doc has approved the dose, and my kidney and liver functions are checked every 3 months to be sure there are no adverse effects. I do not have any heart conditions, nor do I use a blood thinner.
Now for my OPINION. This needs to be discussed with your doc before you make any changes. While herbal medicine is felt by some to be safer than "drugs", the truth is that herbs are drugs, to be used cautiously while watching carefully for any adverse effects. Some herbs can be fatal if used the wrong way, or by the wrong person. The difference between herbs, or any other over the counter supplements, and prescription drugs is that herbs and supplements are totally unregulated. Drugs are subject to inspection and testing by the FDA, there is no such requirement for herbs and other supplements.
Some supplement makers choose to be very careful in the selection of their raw materials and production practices to insure purity and potency. Others are not so careful, and some are outright fraudulent. So buying supplements, especially on line or from discount sources, can be a risky business. To be sure the bottle contains what is says, look for the "USP" or "NSF" logo ON EACH BOTTLE.
The next issues, which need to be discussed with your doctors, is your risk profile, and exactly how to go about replacing Eliquis with an herb. There are protocols in place for switching between many prescription drugs, but I would be surprised if the same exists for switching to an herb. The doc's willingness to consider a change may be very different if you have an occasional bout of AFIB, or you have had a stroke or a serious heart problem, or continuous irregular heartbeats.
So what is the answer? Take your request and the evidence (scientific studies, not articles in a health magazine or on the internet) to your physician. Make sure some of the research includes information about the dose of turmeric required, and how long it takes to become effective. Perhaps if your risk is low, they will be willing to do a test with you. If you do make the change, be sure to add turmeric to the list of drugs you take, to be shared any time a list of your medications is requested.
Always remember, we have gotten to this life expectancy we have today and the ability to live with previously lethal health problems and diseases using modern medicine, not herbs.
Thanks for sharing such an interesting question.
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Thank you Sue. I will discuss with my physician.
Frequent and mild bouts but recently hospitalized with additional tachycardia and anemia. Blood is back up and they are prescribing Eliquis. I will check afibbers.org. Thanks
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