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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Welcome for new blood safety treatments

Thursday June 21st, 2012

British experts have welcomed the development of treatments to combat the dangerous side-effects of modern blood thinning drugs.

A new study reports on tests of substances that can counteract the new drug apixaban.

The drug is prescribed to prevent stroke - but when a patient is injured it can cause heavy bleeding.

When warfarin is used to prevent blood-clotting it can be counteracted with vitamin K.

Now Spanish researchers have reported on tests on three substances to counteract apixaban in a report in the American Heart Association Journal.

The research found benefits from using prothrombin complex concentrates, activated prothrombin complex concentrates and recombinant Factor VII.

Researcher Dr Gines Escolar, of the University of Barcelona, said: “The good news is that the various lab tests applied indicate that these approaches may reverse the effects of apixaban.

“But, even with the favourable results in perfusion studies using a damaged vessel, we’re far from knowing what will work best in a bleeding patient. Resolving efficacy and safety issues will require a clinical trial.”

Ellen Mason, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “New blood thinners, such as apixaban and rivaroxaban, are easier to take than warfarin, as they require less frequent blood tests.

“They are now licensed in England and Wales for the prevention of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, so their use will become more widespread.

"However, it is vital that ways are found to reverse their effects and offer an antidote in an emergency.

"Clinical trials are needed before this research can move out of the lab and be put into practice.”

Reversal of Apixaban Induced Alterations of Hemostasis By Different Coagulation Factor Concentrates: Studies In Vitro With Circulating Human Blood.  Gines Escolar et al. American Heart Association Journal June 20, 2012.

Tags: Europe | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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