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January 14th, 2010
Experimental Anti-Clotting Drug Performing Better Than Plavix

A new anti-clotting drug, called Brilinta, could take the place of Plavix as a treatment for patients with acute coronary syndrome. In a recent clinical trial, Brilinta (ticagrelor) was shown to reduce the risk of a second heart attack and death without raising the threat of bleeding, which can be a side effect of Plavix (clopidogral).

Results from this study, funded by AstraZeneca (makers of Brilinta), were presented at several major medical conferences and most recently published in the Jan. 14 edition of The Lancet. The findings from this study may mean a change in blood thinning medication recommendation.

For about a decade, heart patients have been prescribed a mix of Plavix and Aspirin to prevent the development of blood clots that may lead to heart attacks, stroke and even death. But the prescription drug had a number of problems, mainly a delay in time between when it was administered and when it actually took effect. In addition, treatment with Plavix has to be discontinued before surgery.

Researchers studied more than 13,000 patients with acute coronary syndrome and felt that Brilinta is more potent than Plavix and has more advantages  than its competition. For instance, Brilinta starts working faster because it is processed as soon as it is swallowed. Also, the drug is immediately reversible—when you stop taking it, it stops working. Plavix, on the other hand, attaches to platelets for their lifespan , thus increasing risk of bleeding while in surgery.

Researchers estimated that from a group of 1,000 patients who took Brilinta in place of Plavix for one year, there would be 11 less deaths, 13 less heart attacks and 6 less cases of blocked stents.

FDA approval for Brilinta may come later this year, although it is almost impossible to predict the timing of these decisions.  For updates about Brilinta and other anti-clotting prescription drugs, visit www.orderonlinedrugs.com


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