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Warfarin raises stroke risk by 70% when first initiated

GPs have been warned to monitor patients who have been recently initiated on warfarin, as these patients have a paradoxical 71% increased risk of stroke within the first 30 days of use.

The warning comes from a large case–control study of patients with atrial fibrillation in the UK Clinical Practice Research Database, which found the risk of ischaemic stroke was greatest in the first week after patients started the drug, peaking at around three days.

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