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Is Warfarin the best medication for me to be taking if I want to thin my blood to avoid the risk of strokes?

 
Our short answer to this question is that to be taking Warfarin in 2016 is nothing short of madness.
Warfarin originated in the 1940s to kill rats and mice, and, according to this Wikipedia article it is still used for that purpose - it causes so much internal bleeding in them that they die. And then in the early 1950s it started to be used to reduce the risks of strokes in humans.
The Wikipedia article puts it this way.
To us, easily the biggest problem with Warfarin is that if you take too much of it, you may suffer the sort of internal bleeding that kills rats and mice, and if you don't take enough of it you will be running the same sort of risks of having a stroke as if you weren't taking anything at all. The solution to this problem is supposed to be that you go to your GP once a month for him or her to take a sample of blood to be sent off for testing so you can be told that you are taking the right amount or should be taking more or less. What a hassle!
With medication, like Xarelto, that has been developed in recent years, this is not necessary.
Why should you be having to go to your GP once a month to avoid internal bleeding or strokes?
This is what the Wikipedia article says about this.
To us, the sentence in the Wikipedia article, "Warfarin is the most widely prescribed oral anticoagulant drug in North America," is scary!
Of course, there are two things that may be factors in the situation, although we'd hope they wouldn't be.
Firstly, Xarelto instead of Warfarin is bad for business for GPs and those processing blood tests.
Secondly, Xarelto instead of Warfarin is much more expensive for the Government - one of our readers says that when he bought Warfarin in 2012, the Pharmacist charged him $5.80 for 50 tablets with "Full cost $12.77" shown on bottle and in 2016 the Pharmacist charges him $6.20 for 28 tablets with "Full Cost 86.84" shown on the packet - although with Xarelto there would be less visits to doctors and less blood tests to be subsidised.
So have we got this all right or perhaps we've got it all wrong???
We've just emailed this in a letter sent to the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand.
Our guess is that they won't even acknowledge our email, ever. We'll let you know if we're wrong.
 
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Created: 18 Oct 2016 Worked on: 19 Oct 2016
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