Use caution when considering anticoagulants, especially for older adults
PHOENIX — If you are over age 75, and taking an anticoagulant, the old standard may be the gold standard, Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have determined.
In a study released online in April in the BMJ, a team of researchers from Mayo Clinic, and other collaborators, showed that for older patients, particularly individuals greater than 75 years of age, the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is 3 to 5 times higher when taking newer anticoagulant medications dabigatran or rivaroxaban compared to when using warfarin.
One of the most common reasons people take anticoagulant medication – which lessens the blood’s tendency to clot – is to reduce potential or severity of clotting complications in patients with atrial fibrillation or venous thromboembolism. People with atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism have a much higher risk of strokes, heart attacks and clots in the lungs and legs, which can result in disability or death.
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