Pradaxa eliminates the need to monitor INR in Atrial Fibrillation patients

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Good news for atrial fibrillation (AF) patients who require taking warfarin to prevent stroke.  It is well known that routine blood monitor and food interaction represent major hassles for patients taking warfrin.

However, a new drug, Pradaxa (dabigatran), might be able to provide the same protection as warfarin without the need of blood monitoring and food interaction in AF patients, according to research findings presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference.

The findings were based on an analysis of a subgroup of 3623 patients from the RE-LY trial, randomized patients to receive either warfarin, a low dose of Pradaxa twice a day, or a higher dose of Pradaxa twice a day, for a median of two years.

At the end of the study, there were not differences in the incidence of stroke or clot between any of the Pradaxa and warfarin group.  Stroke or clot in other blood vessels occurred in 55 patients on low-dose Pradaxa, 51 patients on high-dose Pradaxa and 64 patients on warfarin.  However, patients who were treated with the lower dose of Pradaxa were 32-percent less likely to experience a major bleeding event than those treated with wafarin.

Besides being an effective and safer anticoagulant, Pradaxa does not interact with other foods and does not require routine blood monitoring.  In other words, patients who take Pradaxa are free to take any food they like and they do not require to visit their physicians on a regularly basis for blood test.

Pradaxa is currently approved in some countries for the primary prevention of blood clots in patients who have undergone elective total hip or total knee replacement surgery. It use, however, has not been approved in the US.

American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2010

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