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How Well Are You Living With AFib?

Answer a few questions, and you'll get:

  • Information about your current treatment options
  • Tips for lifestyle changes that could improve your symptoms
  • Help with managing AFib's effects on your life

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on March 16, 2015


ACC/AHA/ESC Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation, Circulation, 2001.

Shea, J.B. Circulation. May 20, 2008.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is Atrial Fibrillation?" "How Is Atrial Fibrillation Treated?" "What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?"

American Stroke Association: "More Afib Awareness Needed."

American Heart Association: "FAQs of Atrial Fibrillation," "Atrial Fibrillation Medications," "Types of Blood Pressure Medications," "Anti-Clotting Agents Explained," "Stress and Heart Health."

Heart Healthy Women: "Blood Thinners & Aspirin-Antiplatelet Medications."

Medscape: "Aspirin Offers No Benefit for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation."

Gage, B.F. Circulation. Published online before print Oct. 11, 2004.

The Harvard Family Health Guide: "Grapefruit and Medication: A Cautionary Note."

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP): "Beta Blockers for Heart Problems."

Schaer, B. Annals of Internal Medicine. Jan. 19, 2010.

Texas Heart Institute: "Digitalis Medications."

Heart Rhythm Society: "Antiarrhythmics," "Catheter Ablation," "Electrophysiologyo Study," "What to Expect After Catheter Ablation," "Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators," "Antihypertensives."

Dave, J. Medscape Reference. Mar. 29, 2011.

Thyroid Foundation of America: "Heart Problems: Arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, mitral valve prolapse."

CardioSmart: "Atrial Fibrillation."

UpToDate: "Amiodarone and Thyroid Dysfunction," "Antithrombotic Therapy In Patients With Prosthetic Heart Valves."

Schirmer, S.H. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. December 2010.

Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center: "Warfarin (Coumadin) Interactions with Food."

American College of Surgeons: "New Anticoagulants Promising but Problematic."

Harenberg, J. International Journal of Angiology. August 2012.

Banerjee, A. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. March 2012.

Sullivan, D.M. American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. August 1998. "Electrical Cardioversion," "Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea Predicts Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Failure, New Study Says," "Sleep Apnea Multiplies Risk of Arrhythmias Like Atrial Fibrillation," "Catheter Ablation May be Better Atrial Fibrillation Treatment than Drugs for Serious and Professional Athletes," "Role of Caregivers."

Calkins, H. Europace. September 2012.

Weerasooriya, R. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. January 2011.

American College of Cardiology: "Driving Restriction Guidelines for Patients with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators," "Alcohol and Atrial Fibrillation: A New Look," "Yoga May Benefit Patients with Abnormal Heart Rhythm."

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals: "Atrial Fibrillation," "CPAP for Sleep Apnea Appears to Head off High Blood Pressure."

Beyerbach, D. Medscape Reference. Apr. 12, 2012.

Murata, P. Medscape Education. Jan. 26, 2012.

Taylor, T.N. Stroke. September 1996.

Marzona, I. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Apr. 3, 2012.

Intermountain Healthcare: "New Research Reveals Danger of Combining Warfarin with Herbal and Dietary Supplements."

Healey, J.S. American Journal of Cardiology. May 22, 2003.

Rosenthal, L. Medscape Reference. May 15, 2012.

Savalieva, I. Europace. January 2003.

Jayaprasad, N. Indian Journal of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Oct.-Dec. 2005.

Group Health Research Institute. "People With Diabetes Are At Higher Risk Of Atrial Fibrillation."

Patel, A. European Heart Journal. Mar. 12, 2009.

Monahan, K. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. November 2009.

Gami, A.S. Circulation. Published online before print July 12, 2004.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Heart Healthy Foods: Shopping List."

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "How to Cut Down on Caffeine."

Chamberlain, A.M. Heart Rhythm. Aug. 8, 2012.

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: "Smokers Twice As Likely To Have Strokes, Study Suggests."

University of California, San Francisco: "Alcohol May Trigger Serious Palpitations in Heart Patients."

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: "Atrial Fibrillation: Frequently Asked Questions."

Hegborn, B. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. Jan.-Feb. 2006.

U.S. News and World Report. "Light Exercise Prevents Atrial Fibrillation in Elderly," Aug. 5, 2008

Abel, E.D. Physiology Review. April 2008.

Penedo, F.J. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. March 2005.

Preventive Cardiovcascular Nurses Association: "The Beat Goes On: Living with Afib."

National Sleep Foundation: "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" "What Happens When You Sleep?"

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic."

American Psychological Association: "Understanding Depression and Effective Treatment."

Ritter, R. Coping with Physical Loss and Disability. First published January 2006.

Foley, A.G. Arthritis Today. March 2009.

Primomo, J. Research in Nursing & Health. Jan. 19, 2007.

Lyons, R. Relationships in Chronic Illness and Disability. SAGE Publications, 1995.

Grav, S. Journal of Clinical Nursing. January 2012.

Oldridge, N.B. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. October 2004.

The New York Times: "Protecting Your Job While Coping With a Chronic Illness," June 19, 2009.

American Journal of Managed Care: "US Cost Burden of Ischemic Stroke: A Systematic Literature Review." Published online July 17, 2010.

"Atrial Fibrillation: Frequently Asked Questions." St. Joseph's Hospital Heart Institute, Advanced Center for Atrial Fibrillation, SJB060804-1206.

Living With Atrial Fibrillation: Resource Guide. CardioSmart, American College of Cardiology, December 2012.

Marion Somers, PhD, caregiving expert; author, Eldercare Made Easy.

Mayo Clinic: "Caregiving for someone with atrial fibrillation."

Caregiver Action Network: "Breaking Through the Barriers of Denial." "Caregiver Support."

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information:

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.  It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

XARELTO® (rivaroxaban) was the right choice for Kevin Nealon

XARELTO® (rivaroxaban)
was the right choice for
Kevin Nealon

XARELTO® (rivaroxaban):

  • No regular blood monitoring
  • No known dietary restrictions
  • No frequent dosage requirements

From Our Sponsor

Content under this heading is from or created on behalf of the named sponsor. This content is not subject to the WebMD Editorial Policy and is not reviewed by the WebMD Editorial department for accuracy, objectivity or balance.

For people with atrial fibrillation (AFib), not caused by a heart valve problem.


XARELTO® is a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, not caused by a heart valve problem. For patients currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how XARELTO® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke.



  • For people taking XARELTO® for atrial fibrillation:

    People with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart beat) are at an increased risk of forming a blood clot in the heart, which can travel to the brain, causing a stroke, or to other parts of the body. XARELTO® lowers your chance of having a stroke by helping to prevent clots from forming. If you stop taking XARELTO®, you may have increased risk of forming a clot in your blood.

    Do not stop taking XARELTO® without talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. Stopping XARELTO® increases your risk of having a stroke.

    If you have to stop taking XARELTO®, your doctor may prescribe another blood thinner medicine to prevent a blood clot from forming.

  • XARELTO® can cause bleeding, which can be serious, and rarely may lead to death. This is because XARELTO® is a blood thinner medicine that reduces blood clotting. While you take XARELTO® you are likely to bruise more easily and it may take longer for bleeding to stop.

You may have a higher risk of bleeding if you take XARELTO® and take other medicines that increase your risk of bleeding, including:

  • Aspirin or aspirin-containing products
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Warfarin sodium (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
  • Any medicine that contains heparin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
  • Other medicines to prevent or treat blood clots

Tell your doctor if you take any of these medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above.

Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you develop any of these signs or symptoms of bleeding:

  • Unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time, such as:
    • Nosebleeds that happen often
    • Unusual bleeding from gums
    • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal, or vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding that is severe or that you cannot control
  • Red, pink, or brown urine
  • Bright red or black stools (looks like tar)
  • Cough up blood or blood clots
  • Vomit blood or your vomit looks like "coffee grounds"
  • Headaches, feeling dizzy or weak
  • Pain, swelling, or new drainage at wound sites

Spinal or epidural blood clots (hematoma): People who take a blood thinner medicine (anticoagulant) like XARELTO®, and have medicine injected into their spinal and epidural area, or have a spinal puncture, have a risk of forming a blood clot that can cause long-term or permanent loss of the ability to move (paralysis). Your risk of developing a spinal or epidural blood clot is higher if:

  • A thin tube called an epidural catheter is placed in your back to give you certain medicine
  • You take NSAIDs or a medicine to prevent blood from clotting
  • You have a history of difficult or repeated epidural or spinal punctures
  • You have a history of problems with your spine or have had surgery on your spine

If you take XARELTO® and receive spinal anesthesia or have a spinal puncture, your doctor should watch you closely for symptoms of spinal or epidural blood clots. Tell your doctor right away if you have back pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness (especially in your legs and feet), or loss of control of the bowels or bladder (incontinence).

XARELTO® is not for patients with artificial heart valves.


Do not take XARELTO® if you:

  • Currently have certain types of abnormal bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking XARELTO® if you currently have unusual bleeding.
  • Are allergic to rivaroxaban or any of the ingredients of XARELTO®.


Before taking XARELTO®, tell your doctor if you:

  • Have ever had bleeding problems
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have any other medical condition
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if XARELTO® will harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking XARELTO®. If you take XARELTO® during pregnancy, tell your doctor right away if you have bleeding or symptoms of blood loss.
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XARELTO® passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take XARELTO® or breastfeed.

Tell all of your doctors and dentists that you are taking XARELTO®. They should talk to the doctor who prescribed XARELTO® for you before you have any surgery, medical or dental procedure. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some of your other medicines may affect the way XARELTO® works. Certain medicines may increase your risk of bleeding. See "What is the most important information I should know about XARELTO®?"

Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®)
  • Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox®)
  • Ritonavir (Norvir®)
  • Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra®)
  • Indinavir (Crixivan®)
  • Carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, Tegretol®-XR, Teril, Epitol®)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin-125®, Dilantin®)
  • Phenobarbital (Solfoton)
  • Rifampin (Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®, Rifadin®)
  • St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Ask your doctor if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.


Take XARELTO® exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not change your dose or stop taking XARELTO® unless your doctor tells you to.

  • Your doctor will tell you how much XARELTO® to take and when to take it.
  • Your doctor may change your dose if needed.

If you take XARELTO® for:

  • Atrial Fibrillation: Take XARELTO® 1 time a day with your evening meal. If you miss a dose of XARELTO®, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
  • Blood clots in the veins of your legs or lungs:
    • Take XARELTO® once or twice a day as prescribed by your doctor.
    • Take XARELTO® with food at the same time each day.
    • If you miss a dose of XARELTO®:
      • and take XARELTO® 2 times a day: Take XARELTO® as soon as you remember on the same day. You may take 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
      • and take XARELTO® 1 time a day: Take XARELTO® as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
  • Hip or knee replacement surgery: Take XARELTO® 1 time a day with or without food. If you miss a dose of XARELTO®, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
  • If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet whole, talk to your doctor about other ways to take XARELTO®.
  • Your doctor will decide how long you should take XARELTO®. Do not stop taking XARELTO® without talking to your doctor first.
  • Your doctor may stop XARELTO® for a short time before any surgery, medical or dental procedure. Your doctor will tell you when to start taking XARELTO® again after your surgery or procedure.
  • Do not run out of XARELTO®. Refill your prescription for XARELTO® before you run out. When leaving the hospital following a hip or knee replacement, be sure that you have XARELTO® available to avoid missing any doses.
  • If you take too much XARELTO®, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call your doctor right away.


Please see "What is the most important information I should know about XARELTO®?"

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are also encouraged to report side effects to the FDA: visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., at 1-800-JANSSEN (1-800-526-7736).

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warnings, and Medication Guide.

Trademarks are those of their respective owners.