Bleeding hearts and pockets

FOR the 12 months Shirley Savell was on warfarin for atrial fibrillation (AF), her life was a nightmare. The 80-year-old couldn’t achieve a stable INR and required blood tests every few days. Afterwards she couldn’t do her housework, her gardening or go to the gym. 

She had to restrict her diet but could never work out what was affecting her INR. Constant adjustments to her warfarin dosage meant it was almost impossible for Mrs Savell, from Wanneroo in WA, to go on holiday or make the 500km journey to visit her grandchildren. 

Her GP suggested dabigatran (Pradaxa) and Mrs Savell enrolled on manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim’s product familiarisation program (PFP) 18 months ago. 

“With Pradaxa there are no blood tests,” she says. “I can go to the gym. I can do household chores regardless of medication. I can eat what I like. It got rid of the stress out of my life. My blood pressure is very good.