One of my passion’s is getting people off pharmaceuticals. Funny, it did not start out that way. As a conventionally trained cardiologist, there was not much greater joy than writing that first prescription as a medical student.
Let me start out with this….DO NOT STOP ANY DRUG without speaking with your physician first.
What are Xarelto, Eliquis, and Pradaxa?
These are heavy-duty blood thinners that work on various parts of blood clotting. They are better options than coumadin (Warfarin) in most situations given that there is no monitoring of levels necessary and no interaction with food.
But make no mistake. These drugs can cause life threatening bleeding and even kill you. Also, you run the risk of a brain bleed, called a hemorrhage, on these drugs. I have seen it.
Why are You on Xarelto?
There are several reasons why you may be on Xarelto or the others.
- Atrial fibrillation (AFIB)
- Deep venous thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolism (PE)
- Left ventricular thrombosis
- Post-operative DVT prevention
AFIB is the most common indication for Xarelto. Read my blog and watch my video about stroke risk with AFIB. Calculate your score and you will see your stroke risk. I have a blog post on 10 natural blood thinners.
Why Do You Want to Get Off Xarelto, Pradaxa, or Eliquis?
- They are expensive
- They can lead to serious bleeding and reversal agents may not be available
- You just don’t want to take pharmaceuticals
Getting off Xarelto (and the others)
- AFIB- Many doctors recommend Xarelto for all people with AFIB. But stroke risk goes up as CHADSVASC score goes up. So, learn your score and then decide if you want to stay on the drug. After all, it is YOUR decision. For example, a person with AFIB who is 64 years of age, female, with no other risk factors on CHADSVASC is a #1. Stroke risk is low and she should not be on Xarelto, in my opinion. The risk of bleeding is higher than the benefit.
- Personally, I think any CHADSVASC score deserves a chance at changing their risk by following my advice in my book, blog posts, videos, and in-office visit. I would LOVE to see you in my office, “upgrade” you, and do the most advanced testing in the world. Check out my post on natural blood thinners. You are the captain of your health, not anyone else. I know first-hand that doctors can be bullies. Don’t be bullied.
- DVT/PE- For a first event DVT/PE, typically 6 months of Xarelto is needed. If the clot was small and/or happened after a surgical procedure, 3 months may be enough. When DVT/PE occurs in the face of cancer or another hypercoagulable state, 12 month or longer may be indicated. Again, there may be a better way that we can discuss in person or on a phone call.
- Left ventricular thrombosis- Usually this happens after a large heart attack. These people can usually get off Xarelto after 3 months. Again, I can help in this scenario with a personal consultation. Call my office and get on the schedule 480 535 6844.
- Post-op prevention- Follow the recommendations of the surgeon. Post-op DVT is common and easily preventable. Other modalities for prevention are possible and other drugs are commonly used. Stick with their plan.
If you want to discuss your situation, give us a call. We can discuss any other possible options.
Lastly, fish oil. You do not need to stop fish oil while on a blood thinner, just as you do not need to stop eating fish while on blood thinners. Eat fish!