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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>