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Popular AFib Drug Could Increase Dementia Risk

Posted on May 9, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Many doctors prescribe the popular anti-clotting drug, warfarin, to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib) and prevent blood clots that could cause a stroke. An estimated 20 million patients in the United States are currently taking the blood thinner, and approximately 2.7 million people suffer from atrial fibrillation.

The American Heart Association cautions patients that AFib can increase the risk of stroke and dementia, hence treatment with an anti-clotting medication. However, the downside is that blood-thinning medications like warfarin can also increase the risk of brain bleeds, another type of negative impact on brain function.

Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, UT recently looked at the health data of more than 10,000 long-term warfarin users. Doctors followed up with the participants, who were taking warfarin for various conditions, after seven years.  

The study found that participants taking warfarin for AFib were 5.8 percent more likely to develop dementia than patients taking the drug for other conditions were. Warfarin is a difficult drug to administer. Doctors must closely monitor the patient’s dose and bleeding risk. Researchers noted that good control of a patient’s medication did not impact the risk of dementia either way.

Stopping Your Medication Could Affect Your Eligibility for Disability Benefits

If you are seeking Social Security disability benefits, it is important to keep up with all of your doctor’s appointments and take all of your medications on a regular basis. Failure to do so can result in a prolonged application or even a denied claim. Disability Help Group can assist with applying and appealing your claim decision.

Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates today.