Atrial or atrial fibrillation: the different treatments possible

The treatment of atrial fibrillation aims to normalize the heart rhythm and prevent the appearance of blood clots. It is based on taking Eliquis generic medication or, more rarely, on a procedure performed in the hospital.


The care provided for atrial fibrillation has several objectives:

  • prevent arterial embolism (abrupt obstruction of an artery) due to the formation of blood clots in the heart;
  • to reduce the frequency of the heart rate, to normalize it and to reduce the troublesome symptoms;
  • prevent worsening of a heart condition related to atrial fibrillation.

After establishing the diagnosis, the treatment is developed by the attending physician and the cardiologist, according to several criteria:

  • the age of the person;
  • the characteristics of atrial fibrillation;
  • any associated diseases.

The medical team discusses the proposed treatment with the patient before it is implemented.


If the episode of atrial fibrillation is brief, with little or no discomfort and no risk of embolism, the doctor may find that no treatment is helpful. Nevertheless, it is necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle to limit cardiovascular risk.

Conversely, if the medical situation of the patient requires it (sustained atrial fibrillation, risk of thrombosis arterial …), the doctor proposes a treatment.

A treatment that thins the blood: anticoagulants

It aims to prevent the appearance of clots and therefore thrombosisarterial. These are drugs that prevent coagulation ( ” anticoagulants “):

  • antivitamin K (AVK),
  • direct oral anticoagulants (dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban).

The risk when taking anticoagulants is the occurrence of haemorrhages. In case of bleeding with anticoagulants, medical advice is required.

The antiplatelet Platelets (clopidogrel, aspirin) are rarely used and are only prescribed in certain situations in people who can not take anticoagulants.

A treatment to regulate the heart rate

  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs

The most used anti-arrhythmic drugs are beta-blockers (metoprolol, propranolol) or certaincalcium inhibitors(verapamil, diltiazem). They decrease the frequency of heartbeats.
More rarely, other anti-arrhythmics are useful: flecainide, or propafenone.

  • Cardioversion

If the patient remains atrial fibrillation despite antiarrhythmic treatment, electrical cardioversion is proposed by applying a brief electric shock to the chest to restore normal and regular heartbeat.

The electric shock is practiced during a hospitalization and under anticoagulants. After cardioversion, continued treatment with an antiarrhythmic drug is necessary to maintain normal heart rhythm.

  • Ablation of arrhythmogenic foci responsible for atrial fibrillation

It is proposed when anti-arrhythmic drugs are not effective or rarely in first intention.

The technique used consists in making “burns” of the zones situated at the level of Headsetsand involved in triggering atrial fibrillation. A catheter is introduced into a vein in the groin and pushed into theHeadsets. In order to destroy the foci, we use currents ofradio frequency(high temperature) or cryotherapy (cold treatment). A pre-operative assessment is necessary as well as a hospitalization.

Surgical removal of arrhythmogenic foci is possible when cardiac surgery is required (eg, replacement of a heart valve).

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