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  • 1. A Patient’s Voice John’s* perspective is shared in each section. John is a 75-year-old retired surgeon with atrial fibrillation who has been taking warfarin for 10 years. John also has gout and arthritis and a stent for which he takes baby aspirin. When he initially started warfarin, it took about 8 to 12 weeks to stabilize his INR within therapeutic range, mainly through dietary adjustments. For the last 5 years, John has been using a home INR kit every 4 to 6 weeks and submits the results through an automated system to his physician. His INR has remained mostly between 2 and 3 and has never exceeded a low of 1.8 or high of 4.3. John’s atrial fibrillation and anticoagulation therapy have not significantly impacted his family or required him to change his lifestyle. *Not the patient’s real name.
  • 2. A Patient’s Voice Patients may not be aware of the different types of atrial fibrillation—educate them. Educate your patients that anticoagulation is critical, but it is just one aspect of managing atrial fibrillation. Resources and Tools During atrial fibrillation, a blood clot can form in the left atrium of the heart. If a piece of the clot breaks off and travels to an artery in the brain, it can block blood flow, causing a stroke. Affected portion of the brain Embolus blocks blood flow to part of the brain Internal carotid artery Common carotid artery Embolus (clot) Aorta NHLBI. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/healthtopics/topics/af/signs.html. Atrial fibrillation in the left atrium Thrombus (clot) Heart
  • 3. A Patient’s Voice John’s CHADS2 score is 1 (due to his age). Empower your patients by educating them on CHADS2. Resources and Tools Available at TEAManticoag.com
  • 4. A Patient’s Voice “It’s so much more important to prevent stroke than to reduce bleeds.” For John, the bleeding concern has been quite benign. As a surgeon, he was more worried about his patients bleeding. He believes his physiological makeup makes him less prone to bruising and bleeding. Resources and Tools Available at TEAManticoag.com
  • 5. Resources and Tools Generic/Trade Name Identification Guide for Drugs Mentioned in Activity Generic Name Trade Name* apixaban Eliquis® clopidogrel Plavix® dabigatran etexilate Pradaxa® diltiazem Cardizem®, Dilacor®, Tiazac® prasugrel Effient® rifampin Rifadin® rivaroxaban Xarelto® ticagrelor Brilinta® ticlopidine Ticlid® verapamil Calan®, Verelan®, Verelan® PM, Isoptin®, Isoptin® SR, Covera-HS® warfarin Coumadin®, Jantoven® *For identification purposes only; does not imply endorsement.
  • 6. Resources and Tools Warfarin and Novel Anticoagulant Mechanisms of Action XII XI IX VIII Unfractionated Heparin VII X Low-MolecularWeight Heparin V II I Fibrin Clot Courtesy of David Garcia, MD. New Oral Xa Inhibitors Rivaroxaban Apixaban Edoxaban Warfarin New Oral IIa Inhibitor Dabigatran etexilate
  • 7. A Patient’s Voice John’s physician offered him a new anticoagulant, but John decided to stay with warfarin because it is: Working for him (it is preventing strokes) Cost effective (he does at-home INR testing) Reversible (at his age, he is at greater bleed risk and it is harder to reverse with the newer anticoagulants) Advice for a new patient who will begin warfarin “To be successful on warfarin, the patient needs to be reliable.” “Take the medication as directed regularly, modify diet as needed to keep dosage in range, and if able and responsible, get your own INR kit for testing.” Diet and warfarin “Get the dietary thing squared away up front. Once you are rock solid with the diet, maintaining the medication is a lot easier.” “I love veggies but have reduced leafy vegetables to minimize excess vitamin K to keep INR in range.”
  • 8. Resources and Tools Available at TEAManticoag.com
  • 9. A Patient’s Voice John believes cost is important to discuss with patients, including: Approximate monthly cost of being on warfarin vs newer drugs Cost of INR testing in office or at home Practical ways to obtain medication (retail pharmacy vs hospital, mail order, manufacturer’s patient assistance program, etc) John travels often and lives in 3 different locations each year. He monitors his INR using a home kit. “For someone with reasonable education and background, these kits sure simplify travel time and specimen blood collection and reporting costs.” John believes reversibility is important to discuss with patients. John has never had a nosebleed while on warfarin. Resources and Tools Visit the Anticoagulation Forum (acforum.org) to find anticoagulation clinic locations.
  • 10. A Patient’s Voice Use pamphlets, comic book-like brochures, or new apps to educate patients on strokes and anticoagulation. John believes the seriousness of a stroke is so important that if patients resist anticoagulation therapy, the physician should have them sign a release (as Dr. Flores suggests). Resources and Tools Available at TEAManticoag.com Patient handout
  • 11. A Patient’s Voice John has not interrupted anticoagulation for dental procedures, but when John’s stent was placed, he was off warfarin for a couple days and bridged with heparin. Resources and Tools Available at TEAManticoag.com Switching From Warfarin: How? Dabigatran Switch when INR ≤2 Rivaroxaban Switch when INR <3 Apixaban Switch when INR <2
  • 12. Performance Improvement CME Activities Also Available at TEAManticoag.com
  • 13. Proceed to Posttest and Evaluation Close the video and return to Medscape to access

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