Our expert says:
From what you have told me I assume your husband has atrial fibrillation, which either precipitated or aggravated heart failure, plus a degree of left ventricular dysfunction, which is why a biopsy was done.
The reason he has been started on warfarin is to protect him from the risk of stroke, which is a fairly common - and disastrous - complication of atrial fibrillation with heart failure.
The usual answer to your question - is there an alternative to warfarin - is no, there is no alternative to warfarin in this situation. However, there is now a new drug called dabigatran (Pradaxa) which has been approved in N American and Europe as an alternative to warfarin in patients like your husband.
It is more effective and safer than warfarin, and does not need to be monitored with blood tests (INRs) It is available in RSA, although it has not yet been approved by the MCC for this condition, and is also at this stage very expensive (R2000 or more per month, not covered by medical aid.) So for most people warfarin is the only suitable drug.
Fluid should be restricted in heart failure mainly in those patients with low serum sodium levels and/or kidney disease. For patients with normal sodium levels and normal kidney function, salt (sodium) restriction is usually all that is necessary. "Take care of the salt and the sodium [concentration] will look after itself" - with the help of the kidneys. However I would be guided by your husbands cardiologist.
I hope things go better for your husband
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.