New blood-thinning drugs ‘could be far safer than warfarin’
New blood-thinning drugs ‘could be far safer than the commonly-prescribed warfarin’
- Nottingham University has discovered a safer type of blood-thinning drug
- The new type of drugs are far less likely to cause bleeding than warfarin
- Some 17 million prescriptions were written out for blood thinners last year
- The new research in the BMJ looked at almost 200,000 patients over five years
Newer blood-thinning drugs could be far safer than the commonly-prescribed warfarin, research has shown.
Until recently, thousands of patients at risk of strokes and heart attacks were given warfarin – but this can cause bleeding in the brain and stomach, and patients have to be closely monitored by GPs.
However, a study at Nottingham University has found that another type of blood-thinning drug – direct oral anticoagulants, or DOACs – are much less likely to cause bleeds than warfarin. DOACs have been increasingly prescribed by doctors over the past eight years but, until now, little has been known about their side effects.
Last year some 17 million prescriptions were written out for warfarin and the newer direct oral anticoagulants – or DOACs – which are less likely to cause bleeds than warfarin
The BMJ reported scientists studied almost 200,000 patients who used blood thinners over the course of five years as part of the new research
Last year some 17million prescriptions were written out for warfarin and DOACs. Blood-thinning drugs are given to patients who have suffered heart attacks or strokes or who have irregular heartbeats – known as atrial fibrillation. The drugs prevent the blood from clotting, which would cause a heart attack or stroke.
Aristocrat who is married to a former Baywatch actress has…
Ousted advertising tycoon Sir Martin Sorrell could be…
Share this article
The study – published in the British Medical Journal – looked at 196,061 patients taking warfarin or DOACs between 2011 and 2016. About half the patients suffered atrial fibrillation, while the rest were taking drugs for other reasons such as recent heart attacks or strokes.
Patients with atrial fibrillation taking one type of DOAC – apixaban – were 34 per cent less likely to suffer major bleeding than those on warfarin, and 60 per cent less likely to suffer bleeding into the brain. A second type of DOAC – dabigatran – reduced the risk of bleeding to the brain by 55 per cent compared with warfarin for patients with atrial fibrillation.
However, lead author Yana Vinogradova said: ‘It is very important that people should not stop taking their medication before seeing their GP. These medicines are still quite new and so researchers need to continue to look at their safety.’
Source: Read Full Article