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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

The risk of cerebral bleeds was significantly reduced with both dosages of dabigatran.  Researchers also noted that dabigatran-treated patients suffered more heart attacks than the warfarin group although the absolute difference was small.

Dabigitran has not yet been approved for use in the United States.  It is approved in other countries for the primary prevention of blood clots in patients who have undergone elective total hip or elective total knee replacement surgery.

"You can prevent stroke with dabigatran, a drug that is more potent than warfarin and causes less cerebral bleeding," said lead author Hans-Christoph Diener, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman of neurology at University Hospital in Essen, Germany.

In the overall RELY study population the higher dose of dabigatran was also linked with higher rates of gastrointestinal bleeding, but Diener said that was of less concern. "Generally gastrointestinal bleedings can be handled, but severe intracranial bleeding with warfarin usually leads to death or permanent disability," he noted.


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SOURCE American Heart Association
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