Blood Thinners Bleeding Risks Higher Than Antiplatelet Therapy Drugs For Heart Patients: Study

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The findings of new research suggest that direct oral anticoagulants, such as Xarelto and warfarin, carry a higher risk of bleeding than antiplatelet therapy for patients who have suffered acute coronary syndrome. 

In a study published last week in the medical journal JAMA Cardiology, Italian researchers compared whether direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) safely reduced the risk of ischemic strokes after acute coronary syndromes when added to anti-platelet therapy.

Researchers looked at data from six randomized clinical trials, involving nearly 30,000 patients. The study evaluated the use of drugs like warfarin, Pradaxa, Xarelto and Eliquis, in combination with antiplatelet therapies like Plavix and and Brilinta; and compared the results to the use of antiplatelet therapies alone.

The study also looked at their effects on different types of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), including non-ST-segment elevation ACS (NSTE-ACS) and ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).

According to the findings, the risk of stroke was lower when the drugs were combined in patients with STEMI, however there appeared to be no benefit for patients who suffered from NSTE-ACS. In addition, drugs like Xarelto and Pradaxa appeared to increase the risk of major bleeding three-fold when compared to using just anti-platelet drugs alone.

“In patients with NSTE-ACS, the risk-benefit profile of DOAC appears unfavorable,” the researchers determined. “Conversely, DOAC in addition to APT might represent an attractive option for patients with STEMI.”

Blood Thinner Lawsuits

Over the last several years, the side effects of Xarelto and other new-generation blood thinners has been heavily debated, as the drugs have been linked to a number of adverse event reports involving uncontrollable bleeding.

Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis are part of a new generation of novel oral anticoagulants, which were introduced as superior alternatives to warfarin, which has been the go-to anti-clotting treatment for decades. However, thousands of Pradaxa lawsuits and Xarelto lawsuits have been filed against the makers of the medications, alleging that inadequate warnings were provided for and the medical community.

While all blood thinners may cause bleeding, the side effects of warfarin can be quickly reversed with a widely known antidote. However, there were no Xarelto or Pradaxa reversal agents when the drugs were introduced, and plaintiffs in more than 18,000 cases pending nationwide allege that the manufacturers withheld information about the lack of an antidote, and failed to recommend necessary monitoring to reduce the risk of uncontrollable bleeds.

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