Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hassle-free stroke prevention offered by new drug, Stanford researcher says

21.11.2003


People who take a commonly prescribed yet problematic drug called Coumadin to prevent stroke or blood clots may soon have a hassle-free alternative, according to research at Stanford University School of Medicine. Results from a 7,329-person international study have found that a new drug called ximelegatran prevents strokes as effectively as Coumadin without the side effects or inconvenience.



"We think this will result in a huge shift in anti-coagulation therapy," said Gregory Albers, MD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and director of the Stanford Stroke Center. Albers was a member of the steering committee that designed and directed the trial. Results from the 3,407-person international phase of the study will be published in the Nov. 22 issue of The Lancet. Albers and his colleagues presented results from the 3,922-person North American study at the American Heart Association meeting Nov. 11 in Orlando.

Coumadin effectively thins the blood and prevents strokes in people with a type of erratic heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. The problem is that the drug has a very narrow effective dose range – too little and it doesn’t work, too much and a person bleeds excessively. The drug also interacts with other medications and with food. Because of these complications, people on Coumadin must have their blood checked and dose adjusted regularly to make sure they are protected from stroke.


"Coumadin is very effective, but more than half of the people who should be receiving it don’t take the medication because of the inconvenience," Albers said.

In contrast, ximelegatran is just as effective as Coumadin but doesn’t require blood tests for dose adjustment and doesn’t interact with medications or food. "It’s essentially one-dose-fits-all," Albers said.

Called the Stroke Prevention Using an Oral Thrombin Inhibitor in Atrial Fibrillation, or SPORTIF, the studies comparing ximelegatran to Coumadin took place in 25 countries. They included 7,329 patients who were treated with one of the two drugs for an average of nearly two years. These were the largest trials ever conducted on people with atrial fibrillation, Albers said.

During the trials, people in the two groups had similar rates of stroke or death, though those taking ximelegatran had fewer major bleeding incidents. Albers said the most important difference was that patients on Coumadin required constant dose adjustment while those on ximelegatran took the same dose throughout the trial.

Albers said that about 6 percent of people on ximelegatran had elevated levels of liver enzymes in the period between two to six months of treatment. This side effect usually disappeared without any consequences, but he said people on ximelegatran will need to have their liver function monitored during the first few months of therapy.

Albers said he expects ximelegatran to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the next year. It will be sold by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca under the brand name Exanta. Albers served as a consultant for AstraZeneca during the trial.


Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

Amy Adams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://mednews.stanford.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>