How Multaq is Used to Help Manage Your Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

2019-05-13

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According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) it is estimated that 2.7-6.1 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation (AFib).  The CDC also provides these stats:

  • Approximately 9% of people over the age of 65 have AFib.
  • Approximately 2% of people under the age of 65 have AFib.
  • With the population of the United States aging, the number of people with AFib will increase.
  • High blood pressure accounts for 14-22% of AFib cases.
  • A person with AFib is four to five times more likely to have a stroke compared to the risk of stroke for people who don’t have AFib.
  • AFib causes 15-20% of ischemic strokes.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_atrial_fibrillation.htm)

What is AFib?

Unlike arrhythmia, which is when the heart is beating irregularly, too fast or too slow, atrial fibrillation is the a condition where the upper two atria in the heart (the two chambers) is irregular, causing poor blood flow from the atria to the two lower ventricles.

What are the Symptoms of AFib?

It is possible to have mild AFib and not even know it.  There are, however, symptoms that are noticeable, including:

  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart “fluttering”, palpitations, or rapid heartbeat
  • What are the risk factors for AFib?

As we age the risk of developing AFib increases.   Other risk factors may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Age
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Enlargement of the chambers on the left side of the heart

How does prescription Multaq help keep your heart in rhythm?

Multaq is a new brand-name prescription medication. The active ingredient in Multaq is dronedarone Hydrochloride.  Dronedarone is what is called an antiarrhythmic (class III) medication.  Amiodarone is an example of another type of antiarrhythmic.  There are many antiarrhythmics and each is prescribed based on the type of arrhythmia being treated.

Multaq is a prescription medication prescribed to people who had paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation in the past but now have normal heart rhythm.   It is used to keep your heart beating in a normal heart rhythm.

How to take prescription Multaq for AFib

Multaq is available in 400mg oral tablets.

Multaq is taken with food, usually twice a day.  Always consult with your physician and pharmacist about how your prescription Multaq should be taken.

Note: It is important to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking prescription Multaq as it may increase the chance of side effects.    Learn more about other foods to avoid while taking certain prescription medications.

Do not stop taking this medication without speaking to your doctor.  Your doctor may recommend you take an anticoagulant/blood thinner to help reduce your risk of developing a blood clot.  Learn more about blood thinners.

How to prevent AFib

According to the American Heart Association  the best way to help reduce the risk for onset of atrial fibrillation is to live a healthy lifestyle.   To help reduce some of the complications that may be associated with AFib, you should make the following heart-healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce and control your cholesterol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid caffeine and too much alcohol
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Enjoy a heart-healthy diet low in cholesterol, trans-fats, saturated-fats and salt.
  • Get regular exercise.

Life is good, and working with your doctor and pharmacist to manage your health is part of setting the stage for a long and healthy life.  


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