Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating Blood Clots, A Half-century Later

Date:
October 30, 2003
Source:
University Of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
The first new oral drug in 50 years to prevent blood clots after knee-replacement surgery was superior to the standard treatment in a clinical trial of about 2,300 patients led by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The first new oral drug in 50 years to prevent blood clots after knee-replacement surgery was superior to the standard treatment in a clinical trial of about 2,300 patients led by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Researchers also have tested the new drug, ximelagatran, for prevention of stroke, heart attacks and deep vein thrombosis, and if approved by the FDA it would offer millions of patients an alternative to the commonly prescribed anticoagulant, warfarin.

Results of the UR study are reported in the Oct. 30, 2003, New England Journal of Medicine, which in this issue paid special attention to scientific advances in the treatment of blood clots, or thrombosis. Two other major clinical trials also are reported.

Lead author Charles W. Francis, M.D., University of Rochester professor of Medicine and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, says ximelagatran has now been studied in some 17,000 patients during the past five years. Ximelagatran was developed as an alternative to oral warfarin (brand name: Coumadin), in an effort to find a drug that was easier for patients and doctors to manage. Warfarin requires constant laboratory monitoring, and has a long list of side effects and food and drug interactions. Studies show ximelagatran is absorbed quickly, does not require adjustments or close monitoring, and has no food or drug interactions.

"Coumadin is a fine drug, but lots of people don't do well on it," Francis says. "We've been 50 years with no alternative and now it looks like we have one."

Blood clots occur in 40 to 80 percent of patients after total knee replacement surgery; clots are also a serious risk for the one-to-two million Americans a year diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder, or who suffer heart attacks. In addition, doctors treat a half-million individuals annually for deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms, and thousands of others need prophylactic therapy. All of these patients take anticoagulants.

Francis led previous studies of ximelagatran to prevent clots from developing in the leg veins after knee surgery. The purpose of the latest research, the largest study to date, was to determine if a higher dose (36 mg twice daily versus 24 mg) would be safe and even more effective. AstraZeneca PLC, the maker of ximelagatran, sponsored the research.

Francis' randomized, double-blind Phase III trial took place at 116 medical centers in the United States, Canada, Israel, Mexico and Brazil. Researchers compared seven to 12 days of oral ximelagatran, at two different doses, starting the morning after knee surgery, with warfarin begun the day of surgery. Among the 608 patients in the warfarin group, 27.6 percent developed blood clots. In the higher-dose ximelagatran group (629 patients), 20.3 percent developed clots. Of the 614 patients in the lower-dose ximelagatran group, 24.9 percent developed clots. Statistically, therefore, the new drug was significantly superior to warfarin for prevention of venous thromboembolism, the study concluded.

There were no significant differences in the groups for bleeding after surgery, or wound healing. The most common post-operative complication was anemia, which occurred in eight-to-10 percent of the patients in each group. The biggest concern about ximelagatran, Francis says, is that in other studies of longer duration, some patients showed liver-function abnormalities. When the drug was discontinued, liver function returned to normal, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Treating Blood Clots, A Half-century Later." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031030061923.htm>.
University Of Rochester Medical Center. (2003, October 30). Treating Blood Clots, A Half-century Later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031030061923.htm
University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Treating Blood Clots, A Half-century Later." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031030061923.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins