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American Stroke Association Late-Breaking Science Report: New Drug as Effective as Warfarin in Preventing Strokes in Atrial Fibrillation Patients With Prior Stroke or TIA
Date:2/26/2010

he findings come from a subset of patients who participated in the Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulant Therapy (RE-LY) trial, which tested the efficacy of the two drugs in people with irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.  Researchers enrolled RE-LY participants at 951 sites in 44 countries, including the United States.  They randomized patients to receive warfarin —adjusted to maintain the drug's therapeutic range — or to 110 mg or 150 mg of dabigatran taken twice daily for a median of two years.

In the subgroup of 3,623 patients with both a history of either stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke or clot in other blood vessels occurred in 64 patients on warfarin (2.74 percent a year), 55 on low-dose dabigatran (2.32 percent a year) and 51 on high-dose dabigatran (2.07 percent a year).  

Neither of these differences was significant.

The rates of major bleeding events were significantly lower (32 percent less likely) in patients taking the lower dose of dabigatran compared to those taking warfarin, but it was not reduced in patients on the higher dose.


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SOURCE American Heart Association
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