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Blood Thinner Xarelto Shows Promise for Heart Patients
Date:11/13/2011

lving nearly 13,000 patients with acute coronary syndromes, adding vorapaxar to standard treatment did not significantly reduce patients' risk of dying from heart disease, risk of heart attack, stroke or rehospitalization. The drug did boost patients' odds for major bleeding, however.

And in another trial, the drug apixaban (Eliquis) was pitted against another mainstay blood thinner, enoxaparin (Lovenox), in more than 6,500 patients with congestive heart failure at high risk for dangerous clots. Researchers led by Dr. Samuel Goldhaber of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that Eliquis did not outperform Lovenox and was also linked to more bleeding.

The vorapaxar study was funded by drug maker Merck, while Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer supported the Eliquis/Lovenox trial.

More information

There's more on blood thinners at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Eugene Braunwald, M.D., professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, and cardiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; C. Michael Gibson, M.D., chief of clinical research, Division of Cardiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., chief of cardiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and president, American Heart Association; Nov. 13, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine, online, and presentations, Nov. 13, 2011, annual meeting of the American Heart Association, Orlando, Fla.


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