Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perhaps soon - a safer blood thinner

From a U.S. News and World Report article not long ago:

New blood thinner could replace warfarin
The new study, published early online Dec. 6 by the New England Journal of Medicine, follows on the heels of two other promising reports presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Fla., last month. Those studies found that dabigatran appeared safe and effective in preventing blood clots when patients were treated for acute coronary syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that might indicate a heart attack; it was also found superior to warfarin in preventing strokes in patients with the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.

In the new trial, warfarin and dabigatran seemed to perform equally well in helping patients with potentially dangerous clots in their veins avoid a subsequent clot or death over the next six months.

But it is in its ease of use that the newer drug appears to outshine warfarin, the authors of this latest study say.

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