When You Were in the Hospital
You may have been in the hospital because you have atrial fibrillation. This condition occurs when your heart beats faster than normal or in an irregular way. You may have developed this problem while you were in the hospital for a heart attack, heart surgery, or other illness such as pneumonia.
Treatments you may have received include:
- Cardioversion (this is a procedure done to change the beat of your heart back to normal. It can be done with medicine or an electric shock.)
- Cardiac ablation
You may have been given medicines to change your heartbeat or slow it down. Some are:
- Beta blockers, such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL) or atenolol (Senormin, Tenormin)
- Antiarrhythmics (medicines that control heart rhythm), such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone) or sotalol (Betapace)
Taking Your Drugs
Have all of your prescriptions filled before you go home. You should take your medicines the way your health care provider has told you to.
- Tell your provider about other medicines you are taking including over-the-counter medicines, herbs or supplements. Ask if it is ok to keep taking these. Also tell your provider if you are taking antacids.
- Never stop taking any of your medicines without first talking to your provider. DO NOT skip a dose unless you are told to.
You may be taking aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or another blood thinner such as Apixiban (Eliquis), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Dabigatran (Pradaxa) to help keep your blood from clotting.
If you are taking any blood thinner:
- You need to watch for any bleeding or bruising, and let your provider know if it happens.
- Tell dentist, pharmacist, and other providers that you are taking this drug.
- You will need to have extra blood tests to make sure your dose is correct if you are taking warfarin.