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jg92570, November 3,  2020  4:38pm EST

Anxiety over Apixaban start-up...

Hi. Been on metoprolol for decades. Got A-fib in my 30s triggered by strenuous underwater swimming--gave up swimming because of the anxiety. Always corrected itself, but the first 2-hour session was scary. 40s ushered in A-fib with alteration from upright head posture, i.e., leaning back. Too many minor episodes over the years and a persistent irregular heart rhythm--hesitating every 6 or 8 beats--have made me thankful for each day I am given. Have refused stress tests because of the A-fib expectation, the pounding. An angie (am I crazy if I say that I enjoyed the procedure?) found the plumbing to be good; it's just the electrical that is ******* up. BLAM! Ate an Epic burrito 10 days ago, turned red in the face and had fast, severe, erradic heartbeat. (Should I mention that my rosacea seems triggered by leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, and avocadoes? Great burrito with avocado and tomatoes!) The ER says the ensueing A-fib is not connected to the burrito; the burrito will never call my name again. Too close for comfort... No heart correction this time, so got electrocuted and sent home with a perfect EKG. Expected soreness after six hours of heart muscle activity before applied correction. Now, minor pains and aches around left breast and sternum. Doctor prescribed Apixaban; side effects look creepy. Scary to think that Wafarin was ever used; it killed mice and rats most efficiently when I kept an aviary and wanted no second-kill. Can't I just take a "baby" aspirin a day?

3 Replies
  • frankangelo
    frankangelo, November 6,  2020  2:22am EST

    I have been taking apixaban for over a year now. Very easy to tolerate. No side effects at all. Aspirin is relatively ineffective in preventing a stroke due to AFib while at the same time havin a higher bleeding risk than apixaban. Just sharing my experience hope it is helpful.

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, November 7,  2020  7:59am EST

    Aspirin, unfortunately, is not at all effective as a "blood thinner" to prevent stroke. This was emphasized at the wonderful, just-ended virtual conference, "GetInRhythm,StayInRhythm," organized by Mellanie.  Are you seeing an electrophysiologist?  These are cardiologists who specialize in treating atrial fibrillation.  An EP should be able to lay out your options for treating your heart, so you don't have to go to the ER!    As for "blood thinners," there are options besides apixaban.  Personally, I have taken warfarin for years (I am tested for its level in my blood, once a month), but apparently I have the genetics for it (not everyone does).  Ask your EP for options on blood thinners, too.  And ask your EP about the advisabillity of having an ablation to correct your AFib.  Sometimes more than one is needed, but it is the closest thing to a "cure" that one can get for AFib.  Please keep us posted!

    Thumper2 (Judy) 

  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, November 8,  2020  1:22pm EST

    Ditto on advice about connecting with an EP - can make a big difference.   Did your doc tell you that afib itself won't kill you, but a stroke might? There is a scoring system for stroke risk in deciding whether to use an anticoagulant. Did your doc go over that with you? I find the anticoagulant reassuring! My afib diagnoses was five years ago - was on Xarelto for a couple of  years, but I had clobbered my stomach with NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen) for back pain; after a GI bleed, we moved to apixiban (Eliquis) which has a better record.

    All of us here report different "triggers" for an afib episode, and sometimes it just seems to come at random. There are some common ones, like dehydration, or too much alcohol; we all have to sort that out for ourselves.  Also, all of the drugs used for afib treatment affect different people differently, so with a good EP, you can find what works best for you.  

    Hang in there!

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