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Are Blood Thinners Overused in Patients With Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 17 Mar 2017 by

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Many people living with the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation may be taking unneeded blood thinners, a new study suggests. These blood thinners, which include aspirin, Plavix and warfarin, are believed to reduce the risk of stroke that can come with atrial fibrillation. But for many atrial fibrillation patients with a low stroke risk, the medications might actually increase both bleeding and stroke risk, researchers reported. The way most doctors decide whether a patient needs a blood thinner is by using a simple score called CHADS2, which assigns points to patients based on age and other medical risks. A score of 2 is usually needed to recommend a blood thinner, the researchers explained. But, "people are realizing that the CHADS2 scores are putting too many people above the threshold – it's pretty easy to get a 2," explained study author ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Aspirin, Atrial Fibrillation, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Clopidogrel, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Norgesic

Study Tracks Bleeding Risk From Common Blood Thinners

Posted 28 Feb 2017 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 – Blood thinners can help prevent dangerous clots, but they also come with risks for excess bleeding. Now, new research shows that use of the medications does boost the odds of "subdural hematomas" – bleeds occurring within the skull and near the brain. And some blood thinners carry higher risk than others. The Danish research team stressed that the results don't mean patients who need blood thinners should avoid them altogether – just that their data adds to decisions around their use. "The present data add one more piece of evidence to the complex risk-benefit equation of [blood thinner] use," wrote a team led by Dr. David Gaist, of Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark. Despite the bleeding risk, "it is known that these drugs result in net benefits overall in patients with clear therapeutic indications," the study authors added. ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Plavix, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Norgesic

FDA Medwatch Alert: Plavix (clopidogrel): Drug Safety Communication - Long-term Treatment Does Not Change Risk of Death

Posted 8 Nov 2015 by

ISSUE: An FDA review has determined that long-term use of the blood-thinning drug Plavix (clopidogrel) does not increase or decrease overall risk of death in patients with, or at risk for, heart disease. FDA evaluation of the Dual Antiplatelet Therapy (DAPT) trial and several other clinical trials also does not suggest that clopidogrel increases the risk of cancer or death from cancer. In order to investigate the increased risk of death and cancer-related death reported with clopidogrel in the DAPT trial, FDA examined the results of the DAPT trial and other large, long-term clinical trials of clopidogrel with data available on rates of death, death from cancer, or cancer reported as an adverse event. FDA performed meta-analyses of other long-term clinical trials to assess the effects of clopidogrel on death rates from all causes. The results indicate that long-term (12 months or longer) ... Read more

Related support groups: Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Clopidogrel

Wide Variations Seen in U.S. Stroke Care

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Americans' odds of receiving a drug that can halt strokes in progress may vary widely depending on their ZIP codes, a new study finds. Experts said the findings, reported in the July issue of the journal Stroke, help verify what everyone has suspected: There are disparities in emergency stroke care across the United States, specifically in the use of a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. And the magnitude of the disparities was "striking," said senior researcher Dr. James Burke, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 20 percent of hospital markets, not a single stroke patient received tPA over four years, Burke's team found. In others, up to 14 percent of stroke patients received the drug. The big question is: Why? "We really don't know what's driving this," Burke said. The hospital markets that most often gave tPA were ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Clopidogrel, Effient, Brilinta, Aggrenox, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Bayer Aspirin, Cilostazol, Pletal, Ticagrelor, Dipyridamole, Prasugrel, Activase, Bufferin, Ascriptin

Stents Meant to Prevent Stroke May Actually Boost Risk

Posted 24 Mar 2015 by

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 – Using stents rather than medication alone to keep narrowed arteries open in the brain may actually increase patients' risk of stroke, according to the results of a new trial. The study involved more than 100 patients at risk of stroke because of what's called intracranial arterial stenosis – plaque build-up in the artery walls in the brain. Those who received balloon-expandable stents – tiny, mesh tubes like those used to open heart arteries – were more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke or ministroke as patients treated with two blood thinners, Plavix and aspirin. Moreover, in the month after the procedure, 8.6 percent of the stent patients suffered from bleeding in the brain and about 5 percent died, versus none of those who were treated with drugs. "The current technology with balloon-mounted stent is very limited and is not recommended for patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Plavix, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Aortic Stenosis, Arthritis Pain Formula, Norgesic, Neurosurgery, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte, Percodan, Anacin

Long-Term Use of Aspirin Plus Blood Thinner Is Safe: Study

Posted 17 Nov 2014 by

MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2014 – Heart attack and stroke patients can safely take aspirin combined with a blood-thinning medication, new research confirms. The blood-thinning combination won't increase a patient's risk of early death, according to a new study presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago. The report was also published online Nov. 16 in The Lancet. Analysis of data from more than a dozen clinical trials revealed no increase in death rate if heart patients took both drugs together for long periods of time, said study co-author Dr. Laura Mauri, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Patients should not be afraid of taking these medications," Mauri said. "In fact, it's important they continue to take them as directed, because they can be life-saving." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Plavix, Clopidogrel, Effient, Ecotrin, Bayer Aspirin, Prasugrel, Bufferin, Buffered Aspirin, Fasprin, Ascriptin, St Joseph Aspirin, Easprin, Aspir-Low, Sloprin, Aspirin Low Strength, Low Dose ASA, Aspergum, Bayer Plus, Genprin

Could Too Much Medication for Irregular Heartbeat Raise Dementia Risk?

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – People with atrial fibrillation who are overtreated with anti-clotting drugs may be doubling their risk for dementia, a new study suggests. Atrial fibrillation causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract quickly and irregularly. These abnormal contractions allow blood to pool in the heart, forming clots that can cause a stroke if they break off and are carried into the brain. However, too much anti-clotting medication may raise the chances of tiny brain bleeds that, over time, might raise the risk of dementia, the researchers said. "In patients with atrial fibrillation, dementia risk is dependent on the efficacy and control of long-term use of anti-clotting drugs," said lead researcher Dr. Thomas Jared Bunch, director of electrophysiology at the Intermountain Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Warfarin and Plavix, along with aspirin, are some of the most ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Plavix, Dementia, Clopidogrel, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

FDA Medwatch Alert: Long-term Antiplatelet Therapy: Safety Announcement - Preliminary Trial Data Shows Benefits But a Higher Risk of Non-Cardiovascular Death

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by

[Posted 11/16/2014] ISSUE: FDA is evaluating preliminary data from a clinical trial showing that treatment for 30 months with dual antiplatelet blood-thinning therapy decreased the risk of heart attacks and clot formation in stents, but there was an increased overall risk of death compared to 12 months of treatment. The clinical trial compared 30 months versus 12 months of treatment with dual antiplatelet therapy consisting of aspirin plus either clopidogrel (Plavix) or prasugrel (Effient), following implantation of drug-eluting coronary stents. These stents are small, medicine-coated tubes inserted into narrowed arteries in the heart to keep them open and maintain blood flow to the heart. Clopidogrel and prasugrel are important medicines used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other clot-related diseases.  FDA believes the benefits of clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) ... Read more

Related support groups: Plavix, Clopidogrel, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Effient, Prasugrel

Many Delay Blood Thinners After Stent Placement, Risking Death

Posted 28 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 – Many patients undergoing coronary stent placement don't fill their prescription for vital blood-thinning medication within the recommended time frame, a lapse leaving them much more likely to die within a month, new research suggests. Researchers found that 30 percent of stent patients neglect to start taking Plavix (clopidogrel) as directed within three days of hospital discharge. This can triple their risk of heart attack and quintuple their risk of death over the following 30 days, the study authors said. "What was surprising was the fact that almost a third of patients experienced some sort of delay and that any delay, even by a day, appeared to be associated with some increased risk," said study author Dr. Nicholas Cruden, a consultant cardiologist at Edinburgh Heart Center of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in Scotland. "This highlights the difficulties ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Plavix, Heart Attack, Clopidogrel, Myocardial Infarction, Ecotrin, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Bayer Aspirin, Bufferin, Buffered Aspirin, Fasprin, Aspirin Low Strength, Low Dose ASA, Aspergum, St Joseph Aspirin, Easprin, Aspir-Low, Sloprin, Buffasal, Halfprin

Morphine, Blood Thinner Plavix a Bad Mix for Heart Attack Victims: Study

Posted 4 Dec 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 – Morphine appears to reduce the effectiveness of the commonly used blood-thinning drug Plavix, which could hamper emergency-room efforts to treat heart attack victims, Austrian researchers report. The finding could create serious dilemmas in the ER, where doctors have to weigh a heart patient's intense pain against the need to break up and prevent blood clots, said Dr. Deepak Bhatt, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital Heart and Vascular Center, in Boston. "If a patient is having crushing heart pain, you can't just tell them to tough it out, and morphine is the most commonly used medication in that situation," said Bhatt, who was not involved in the study. "Giving them morphine is the humane thing to do, but it could also create delays in care." Doctors will have to be particularly careful if a heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Morphine, Plavix, MS Contin, Clopidogrel, Kadian, M O S, Avinza, MSIR, Roxanol, Morphine IR, Morphine Sulfate ER, Oramorph SR, Statex, M-Eslon, Roxanol-T, MS/S, Morphine LP Epidural, Morphine Sulfate SR, Morphitec, Infumorph

Drug Combo May Reduce Risk of Second Stroke: Study

Posted 26 Jun 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, June 26 – After suffering a stroke or a mini-stroke, patients are usually given aspirin to prevent clots that can cause another stroke. Now a new study suggests that adding the drug Plavix (clopidogrel) to the mix can reduce the risk of a second stroke by nearly a third over aspirin alone. Both drugs target clotting agents in the blood, called platelets, preventing them from grouping together and forming clots. The drug combination is commonly used after a heart attack, but until now there hasn't been enough data to suggest it would work in stroke or mini-stroke, officially known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). "Giving two drugs that block platelets works a lot better than aspirin alone in people who have had a minor stroke or TIA," said researcher Dr. S. Claiborne Johnston, a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. The trial was done in ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Clopidogrel, Ecotrin, Bayer Aspirin, Bufferin, Buffered Aspirin, Fasprin, Aspirin Low Strength, Low Dose ASA, Aspergum, St Joseph Aspirin, Easprin, Aspir-Low, Sloprin, Buffasal, Halfprin, Entaprin, Stanback Analgesic

Shopping Around Brings Steep Prescription Drug Savings, Report Finds

Posted 28 Mar 2013 by

THURSDAY, March 28 – Prescription drug prices at U.S. pharmacies can vary widely, and failing to shop around could result in people overpaying by as much as $100 or more a month on average, depending on the drug, a new study finds. Researchers at Consumer Reports called more than 200 pharmacies across the United States to get retail prices (out-of-pocket costs) for a one-month supply of five popular medicines that have recently gone generic. The medicines were: the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone); the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram); the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin); the blood thinner Plavix (clopidogrel); and the asthma drug Singulair (montelukast). For a one-month supply of these drugs, there was a $749 difference between the highest- and lowest-priced stores – a more than four-fold difference, according to the study in the May issue of Consumer Reports ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Plavix, Escitalopram, Lipitor, Atorvastatin, Clopidogrel, Actos, Pioglitazone

Giving Plavix Before Angioplasty May Cut Heart Attack Risk: Study

Posted 18 Dec 2012 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 – Giving the anti-clotting drug Plavix to patients before they undergo treatment to open narrowed heart arteries lowers their risk of heart attack but does not lower their overall risk of death, a new study finds. Treatment with Plavix (clopidogrel) is recommended before patients with heart attack or unstable angina (chest pains) undergo procedures such as angioplasty and stenting. However, it hadn't been determined whether giving patients Plavix before these procedures improves their outcomes. So, researchers reviewed data from more than 37,000 patients who took part in 15 studies published between 2001 and 2012. According to a team led by Dr. Anne Bellemain-Appaix of La Fontonne Hospital in Antibes, France, pretreatment with Plavix before angioplasty/stenting was associated with a reduced risk of major coronary events. For example, about 4.5 percent of patients who ... Read more

Related support groups: Plavix, Heart Attack, Clopidogrel, Myocardial Infarction

More New Drugs a Bad Fit With Grapefruit, Study Finds

Posted 26 Nov 2012 by

MONDAY, Nov. 26 – Because of new chemical formulations, prescription drugs that interact badly with grapefruit have more than doubled in number since 2008, yet many doctors seem unaware of this, Canadian researchers report. "The number of drugs on the market with the potential to produce serious adverse and in many cases life-threatening effects when combined with grapefruit has markedly increased over the past few years from 17 to 43 in four years," said lead researcher David Bailey, from the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. "There is much greater need for health care professionals to understand grapefruit/drug interactions and to apply this information to the safer use of these drugs in their clinical practice," Bailey said. Even small amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice have the potential to cause sudden death, acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, ... Read more

Related support groups: Plavix, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Amiodarone, Clopidogrel, Nifedipine, Zocor, Cyclosporine, Adalat, Procardia, Pravachol, Procardia XL, Neoral, Cordarone, Nifedical XL, Adalat CC, Pacerone, Sandimmune

Standard Dose of Blood Thinner May Not Be Best for All Patients

Posted 6 Nov 2012 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 – Seventy-five percent of patients taking the widely used blood thinners clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) are getting the incorrect dose and could be at risk for serious problems such as uncontrolled bleeding or blood clots, a new study contends. Millions of Americans with coronary artery disease take the drugs to prevent blood clots that could cause a heart attack or stroke. Guidelines recommend that all patients take the same standardized dose, but that dose is not effective for all patients, according to researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City. The researchers looked at more than 500 patients and found that half of patients taking Plavix were getting too little of the drug to most effectively prevent blood clots, while a quarter were getting too much. Only a quarter were receiving an appropriate dose. Among ... Read more

Related support groups: Plavix, Clopidogrel, Effient, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Prasugrel

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