Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

75 percent of patients taking popular blood-thinners on wrong dose: Millions at risk for uncontrolled bleeding or blood clots

Date:
November 6, 2012
Source:
Intermountain Medical Center
Summary:
Cardiology researchers have found that approximately 75 percent of patients taking two common blood-thinning drugs may be receiving the wrong dosage levels, according to a new study. This could put them at risk for serious problems like uncontrolled bleeding or developing blood clots.

Cardiology researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute have found that approximately 75 percent of patients taking two common blood-thinning drugs may be receiving the wrong dosage levels, according to a new study.

This could put them at risk for serious problems like uncontrolled bleeding or developing blood clots.

Millions of Americans with coronary artery disease take one of the two drugs -- clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) -- to prevent harmful blood clots that can cause a stroke or heart attack. Current guidelines recommend that all patients take the same standardized dose. But in this new study of 521 patients, researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that dose is not effective for all patients.

"There's a sweet spot, an appropriate range for each patient. But we found that not many people are falling into that range," said cardiologist Brent Muhlestein, MD, a cardiac researcher at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

Dr. Muhlestein is presenting the group's findings on Nov. 6 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012 in Los Angeles.

"We showed that by performing a simple blood test to see whether or not the blood is clotting properly, we can determine whether patients are getting an appropriate, individualized dose of the medications," he says. "The test is easy to perform, but not widely used."

The Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute study could help lead to personalized treatment and improved results for millions of people taking the drugs. It may also help cut pharmacy bills for many patients. The annual cost for one of the medications is more than $1,800. Finding the lowest effective dose for those patients could conceivably cut their bill in half.

Major findings of the study show that:

  • Half of patients taking clopidogrel were getting too little of the drug to prevent clotting most effectively. A quarter were getting too much. Only a quarter were getting an accurate dose.
  • Half of patients taking prasugrel are getting too much of the drug, which could lead to dangerous bleeding. A quarter were getting too little. Only a quarter are getting the appropriate dose.

The researchers also discovered that common indicators like age, gender, cholesterol levels, and history of heart problems were not good predictors for how a person would react to the drugs.

"That means there's not an easy way to predict how a person will react to these drugs. But the blood test is very effective," said Dr. Muhlestein. "In fact, a physician could have the test machine on his or her desk and perform the test right there in the office."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Intermountain Medical Center. "75 percent of patients taking popular blood-thinners on wrong dose: Millions at risk for uncontrolled bleeding or blood clots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106125554.htm>.
Intermountain Medical Center. (2012, November 6). 75 percent of patients taking popular blood-thinners on wrong dose: Millions at risk for uncontrolled bleeding or blood clots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106125554.htm
Intermountain Medical Center. "75 percent of patients taking popular blood-thinners on wrong dose: Millions at risk for uncontrolled bleeding or blood clots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106125554.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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