(RxWiki News) Dabigatran, a newly approved drug, may provide an anti-blood clotting alternative to warfarin for patients with atrial fibrillation, according to updated guidelines.
Patients with atrial fibrillation are susceptible to blood clots from irregular heartbeat, which causes blood to pool and clot in the heart's chambers and lead to stroke or heart attack.
According to new guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society, dabigatran should serve as a viable alternative to warfarin, the side effects of which include gas, change in the way things taste, tiredness, pale skin, hair loss and feeling cold or having chills.
The guidelines indicate dabigatran is effective at preventing stroke and heart attack for patients who do not have a prosthetic heart valve, significant heart valve disease, severe renal failure or advanced liver disease.
More than two million Americans are afflicted with atrial fibrillation.