Q: I’m diagnosed with atrial fibrillation last week. My doctor prescribed anticoagulant medicines for me. What should I know to prevent stroke?
A: As you are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, you are very likely to have a stroke if not treating it carefully. You should avoid the following 3 misunderstandings in stroke prevention.
1. Stopping taking anticoagulants because you think your physical condition is good
Many patients with AFib do not understand why they need to take anticoagulants every day, because they show no symptoms of stroke. In fact, you can't notice any chronic symptoms in advance. Stroke is a type of acute disease that attacks you all of a sudden, thus the patient should go to the hospital to have a test on the risk of stroke. Once the test shows that you have the risk of stroke, you must take anticoagulants as directed.
2. Stopping taking anticoagulants because it may cause bleeding.
The benefit of taking anticoagulants is far greater than the risk of bleeding. Compared with stroke, which will bring an irreversible consequence, bleeding is curable. The current risk of new anticoagulants has been greatly reduced, especially the risk of intracranial hemorrhage.
3. Taking aspirins instead of anticoagulants.
The effectiveness of aspirin in anticoagulation is not as good as anticoagulants. Unless you can’t take anticoagulant medicines due to their side effects, you should not take aspirin for stroke prevention.
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