New anticoagulant pill cuts stroke deaths by 11 pc

Washington: A new anticoagulant drug has shown promise to reduce death rates due to strokes.

A large-scale trial has found that apixaban is superior to the standard drug warfarin for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Moreover, apixaban resulted in substantially less bleeding and also resulted in lower mortality.

“These are important findings because they show that, when compared to warfarin, a very effective treatment to prevent stroke, apixaban resulted in an additional 21 percent relative reduction in stroke or systemic embolism,” said Christopher B. Granger, M.D., the study``s lead author and professor of medicine at Duke.

“It also resulted in a 31 percent relative reduction in major bleeding, as well as an 11 percent relative reduction in overall mortality,” added Granger.

Apixaban is an oral direct factor Xa inhibitor that showed promise last year when trial findings presented at the European Society of Cardiology showed apixaban patients were 54 percent less likely to have a stroke or blood clot than those who took aspirin. Apixaban and aspirin showed similar risks of major bleeding.

“Our study indicates treatment with apixaban is more effective than warfarin in preventing stroke without the need for anticoagulation monitoring,” said Lars Wallentin, M.D., the study committee``s co-chair, professor of cardiology, and director of the Uppsala Clinical Research Center University Hospital in Sweden.

The results were presented by Duke University Medical Center researchers at the European Society of Cardiology in Paris, France and published simultaneously online in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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