MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Brilinta, an experimental anti-clotting medication currently awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, performed better than the industry standard, Plavix, when used in tandem with low-dose aspirin, a new study finds.
Heart patients who took Brilinta (ticagrelor) with low-dose aspirin (less than 300 milligrams) had fewer cardiovascular complications than those taking Plavix (clopidogrel) plus low-dose aspirin, researchers found.
However, patients who took Brilinta with higher doses of aspirin (more than 300 milligrams) had worse outcomes than those who took Plavix plus high-dose aspirin, the investigators reported.
Antiplatelet drugs are used to prevent potentially dangerous blood clots from forming in patients with acute coronary syndrome, including those who have had a heart attack.
Brilinta has already been approved for use in many other countries. In July 2010, an FDA panel voted 7-to-1 to approve the use of Brilinta for U.S. patients undergoing angioplasty or stenting to open blocked arteries, but the approval process is still ongoing.
The panel's recommendation was based in part on prior findings from this study, called the Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes (PLATO) trial.
In this latest analysis of PLATO findings, researchers found that patients who took Brilinta with low-dose aspirin were 16 percent less likely than those who took Plavix with low-dose aspirin to have a heart attack or stroke, or to die within a year.
The findings were reported Monday in an American Heart Association online conference.
One expert said the new information is valuable.
"The study highlights that if one chooses to use ticagrelor in subjects with acute coronary syndromes, it would be logical to use aspirin 81 milligrams per day (and not 325 mg daily)," said Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger, assistant professor of medicine and director of cardiovascular thro
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