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Improving safety, decreasing risks of new blood thinners

An antidote that reverses the effects of apixaban, rivaroxaban

Date:
November 11, 2015
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
By reversing the effects of the blood thinners apixaban and rivaroxaban within minutes, this new antidote may help to save the lives of patients taking blood thinners that experience major bleeding complications.
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Researchers at McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton have successfully tested an antidote that reverses the effects of two new blood thinners named apixaban and rivaroxaban. By reversing the effects of blood thinners within minutes, this new antidote may help to save the lives of patients taking blood thinners that experience major bleeding complications.

The study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, is led by Dr. Deborah Siegal and Dr. Mark Crowther, both of McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

"Bleeding complications present the most common risk for patients taking blood thinners. Without an antidote, there is no way to quickly reverse the effects of a blood thinner in emergency situations," said Siegal. She is a hematologist at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and a clinical scholar at McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. "The findings of this study are an advance towards resolving major bleeding complications effectively within minutes."

Blood thinners are used to prevent and treat blood clots in a number of conditions including atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke and affects an estimated 350,000 Canadians. As many as three to seven per cent of patients taking blood thinners will experience major bleeding complications in their lifetimes, some of which can be fatal.

"The availability of an antidote may reassure patients who need to take these blood thinners regularly that these drugs can be stopped safely in emergency situations," said Siegal.


Story Source:

Materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Deborah M. Siegal, John T. Curnutte, Stuart J. Connolly, Genmin Lu, Pamela B. Conley, Brian L. Wiens, Vandana S. Mathur, Janice Castillo, Michele D. Bronson, Janet M. Leeds, Florie A. Mar, Alex Gold, Mark A. Crowther. Andexanet Alfa for the Reversal of Factor Xa Inhibitor Activity. New England Journal of Medicine, 2015; 151111074542008 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1510991

Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Improving safety, decreasing risks of new blood thinners: An antidote that reverses the effects of apixaban, rivaroxaban." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151111114818.htm>.
McMaster University. (2015, November 11). Improving safety, decreasing risks of new blood thinners: An antidote that reverses the effects of apixaban, rivaroxaban. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151111114818.htm
McMaster University. "Improving safety, decreasing risks of new blood thinners: An antidote that reverses the effects of apixaban, rivaroxaban." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151111114818.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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