Warfarin is a drug that stops clots forming in the blood. It reduces the production of the clotting proteins made by the liver by interfering with vitamin K. It is one of the most effective treatments in reducing the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Because of this most patients with atrial fibrillation and other risk factors for stroke such as diabetes, high blood pressure or previous stroke are prescribed warfarin. The most common side effects of warfarin are excessive bleeding and in some cases this may be dangerous but the risk of this is far lower than the risk of a stroke without warfarin. The decision of whether to take warfarin or not for atrial fibrillation is best undertaken with the assistance of a physician who can discuss this with you. Warfarin is also used to treat other conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and lung clots. Some patients with artificial heart valves also take warfarin.
- Dr Michael GriffithMike Griffith is one of the most experienced heart rhythm consultants in the UK. He trained at Cambridge (Trinity Hall) and St Thomas’s London graduating in 1981. He gained his MD investigating the Diagnosis and Treatment of Ventricular Tachycardia in 1990. » Read More
This is a general term that describes some of the procedures that we perform. Ablation is the process that modifies small parts of the heart muscle that are responsible for the abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations. Usually this is done by heating the area using radiofrequency at the end of a catheter that is placed in contact with the heart muscle.