Health Care

New blood thinner better at preventing recurrent blood clots than aspirin

New blood thinner better at preventing recurrent blood clots than aspirin

Venous thromboembolism is a chronic disease, with risks of additional blood clots over a patient's lifetime. "The findings from EINSTEIN CHOICE demonstrate the benefit of prescribing rivaroxaban for the extended treatment of VTE".

VTE affects around one in every 1,000 people in the United Kingdom and each year more than 25,000 people in the country die from it. Some are choosing aspirin instead because they consider it to be safer.

The large global study of 3,396 patients with venous thromboembolism in 31 countries shows that Bayer and Johnson & Johnson's rivaroxaban, trade name Xarelto, is more effective than aspirin.

"Not only that, but in testing two doses of rivaroxaban, we found that we have the option of lowering the daily dose for extended treatment", said Dr. Jeffrey Weitz, principal investigator of the study and professor of medicine and biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. "This will ease the long-term concerns of both patients and their doctors". It's already known that after an initial few months of anticoagulant treatment for VTE, giving aspirin as a maintenance therapy reduces the risk of recurrence.

The trial compared Xarelto (rivaroxaban) at a dose of 10mg or 20mg daily with the standard maintenance dose of aspirin (100mg) in VTE patients who had completed six to 12 months of anticoagulation therapy.

The researchers found that patients taking aspirin had the highest rate of recurrent blood clots, at 4.4 percent.

"Once approved, rivaroxaban 10mg once daily, alongside the now approved 20mg once daily, will provide doctors with an additional weapon in their armamentarium in the battle to reduce the risk of recurrent VTEs, alleviating some of the pressure on our hospitals, reducing VTE-related deaths and improving the quality of life for people who have experienced an unprovoked VTE or are living with ongoing risk factors", Dr Cohen added.

There were no statistically significant differences between the treatments in terms of bleeding side-effects. Major bleeding rates for the aspirin group was at 0.3 percent while the Xarelto arms stayed between 0.4 and 0.5 percent. All three groups had similar rates of adverse events. The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting in Washington DC by Philip Wells of the University of Ottawa and was simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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