Cardiologists Get Updated Guidelines With Coumadin Alternatives
Posted Feb 20 2011 8:11pm
When the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology published their new atrial fibrillation guidelines in December , many people were left with more questions than answers. The updated guidelines did not include the newest drug, Pradaxa, which is the only alternative to Coumadin at this point. At the time the guidelines were published, the American Heart Association promised they would provide an update to the guidelines to include Pradaxa soon. As promised, the “update” to the “updated guidelines” is officially out.
What do the guidelines say then about this new Coumadin alternative? The guidelines give Pradaxa one of the highest recommendations possible (called a Class I). They state specifically that it “is useful as an alternative to warfarin [Coumadin] for the prevention of stroke.” However, they also say, “patients already taking warfarin [Coumadin] with excellent INR control may have little to gain by switching to dabigatran [Pradaxa].”
These new guidelines provide further assistance to cardiologists and patients who desperately needed an alternative to Coumadin. Through the support of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, physicians can now prescribe Pradaxa more comfortably for the patients who have trouble taking Coumadin.