If you have atrial fibrillation and your atria are large, or if you have the leaking of a valve or two in your heart, or if you have a pacemaker in your heart, or hardware in your heart, or a prosthetic valve, you must take Coumadin or Pradaxa. You must take Coumadin because we do not want you to have a blood clot.
Now, if you just have atrial fibrillation and you do not have increased left atrial size, and you do not have severe leakage of the mitral valve, you could have lone atrial fibrillation, which we cardiologists call it, when we can put you on an alternative blood thinner that is not necessarily Coumadin.
We can use aspirin. We can use garlic. We can use nattokinase, lumberkinase, EDTA, Vitamine E, Ginko, Omega 3, or several of new clot inhibitors. However, if your left atrium is large or if your mitral valve is leaking, you must take your Coumadin because this will keep you from having a stroke; so I would say that if you have these complications, you must take Coumadin, and unfortunately, that is something that you will have to take the rest of your life. I preform a blood test called ISAC performed by labcorp, which looks at your complete coagulation system.
Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for Coumadin, or Pradaxa or Plavix or natural therapies that I use in selected cases.