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Reflux Drugs OK With Blood Thinners
Date:9/1/2009

Taking antacids with anti-clotting drugs doesn't change outcomes after a heart attack, researchers find

TUESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Antacids don't interfere with anti-clotting drugs such as Plavix and Effient in patients who have suffered a heart attack or unstable angina, a new study finds.

The results counter other studies that concluded that a class of antacids known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) could block the effect of anti-clotting drugs. Doctors often prescribe PPIs along with anti-clotting drugs to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

"The current findings provide some reassurance to clinicians that PPIs and clopidogrel [Plavix] can be safely combined in patients in whom there is a strong indication to use both drugs," said lead researcher Dr. Michelle O'Donoghue, an investigator in the TIMI Study Group at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

As to why the findings differ from earlier results, O'Donoghue said the answer may lie in the patients themselves and in the type of data analyzed.

"Patients who are treated with a PPI may differ quite markedly from other patients," she said. "In particular, there is concern that PPIs are often administered to sicker patients and that this may help to explain why patients on a PPI seem to do more poorly than other patients."

In the current study, the researchers adjusted for these differences, O'Donoghue said.

"Another advantage of the current study is that it was done within the confines of a clinical trial," she said. "In a clinical trial, all endpoints are strictly defined and adjudicated so there may be less of a risk for bias."

The report is published in the Sept. 1 online edition of The Lancet, to coincide with the presentation of the results Monday at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona.

For the study, O'Donoghue's group looked at the effects of PPIs like Pril
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