New drug safer than rat poison for reducing stroke risk

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Washington, Sept 30 (ANI): A new drug has been found to be safer than warfarin (also commonly used in rat poison) for reducing stroke risk, according to a review.

Generally, patients at risk of stroke are given warfarin to prevent blood clotting, but the treatment is risky and requires regular monitoring.

In an article reviewed by F1000 Medicine Faculty Members Robert Ruff, Brian Olshansky and Luis Ruilope, the blood-thinner dabigatran is shown to protect against stroke, blood clotting and major bleeding as effectively as warfarin, but with fewer side effects.

With fewer side effects and complications than warfarin, the reviewers say that dabigatran has many potential benefits.

It is "perhaps one of the important drug discoveries in the past decade," Olshansky said.

Ruilope says that as per the investigators, "This oral anticoagulant prevents strokes and peripheral embolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation significantly better than that much older drug (warfarin) at different doses. It is also safer than warfarin with respect to major bleeding events."

"An immediate change of practice is not warranted but a change in standard anticoagulant therapy may be needed," Ruilope added.

The original study by Neal Devaraj and Stuart Connolly et al. has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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