It’s important to know that if you enroll in a clinical trial for a medication, you do not get to choose the medication you receive. In order for there to be no bias, most clinical trials are conducted using a double blind method. This means that neither you nor your doctor will know what medication you are receiving.
Should you experience a bad reaction to a medication you will receive the proper medical treatment. Depending upon how you feel and the severity of the reaction, you may need to withdraw from the study. You may withdraw from a clinical trial at any time.
Participants of each project must meet certain criteria. For example, you may need to have developed AFib within a certain time period, or you may or may not be included due to age or other medical conditions.
The length of time that a study lasts varies greatly. It may be one day or it could go for many years.
Is a Clinical Trial Right For You?
The decision to participate in a clinical trial is a personal one. Consider the pros and cons of a particular study prior to enrollment. If you do participate, you are providing humanity with a great service, and you may be one of the first people to take advantage of a cutting edge treatment.
However, participation in a clinical trial is not best for everyone. Only you can make the decision whether to explore participating in a clinical trial or not.
If you decide to get involved in a study for AFib sufferers, you may not be sure what the next step may be. Carefully review the informed consent form and the package received from the research team. Be sure to ask any questions you may have.
Your status at the clinic will be either as an inpatient (meaning you are formally admitted to the hospital with a doctor’s order) or an outpatient (where you get various medical services including observation, lab tests, or other investigations; but, you will not be admitted to the hospital as inpatient).
Here are some suggestions for what to bring with you:
- Medication, including any vitamins and supplements
- Casual clothes, including pajamas and a robe if you wish
- Comfortable shoes or slippers
- Toiletries, including small razors and hair dryers if the clinic allows it
For your safety and security, the research clinic may limit the use of certain electrical devices, such as cell phones, in certain areas of the hospital. Most clinics will allow tablets and laptops.
You can either leave money or jewelry at home or they can be placed in a locked safe while you are in the clinic.
Are There Any Clinical Studies Recruiting Volunteers Now?
Several trials are listed on the USA’s clinical trials website that currently need volunteers with AFib.
These trials are investigating the effectiveness of a new technique used for performing ablation therapy, evaluating a blood clot prevention medication, testing a device designed to reduce irritability of the tissues within the heart and looking at the impact of things like implantable devices, lifestyle, and surgical procedures for the treatment of AFib.
How Do I Learn About Clinical Trials?
Ask your cardiologist if she or he knows of any clinical trials being conducted that need volunteers. You can also check with colleges and universities. Sometimes, advertisements for subjects are placed on television or in newspapers.
Most government clinical trial websites provide information about ongoing trials, contact information for participating in trials, and follow up reports about previously conducted studies. Depending upon the country, all clinical trials may not be listed on the government website.
Here is the contact information of government resources for some countries:
- USA – National Institutes for Health
- UK – United Kingdom Clinical Trials Gateway
- Canada – Health Canada’s Clinical Trials Database
- Australia – Australian Clinical Trials
For information about clinical trials being conducted in other countries do a web search using the name of the country and the term “clinical trials.”