Public Release:  New blood-thinning drug safer than rat poison

Faculty of 1000

In an article reviewed by F1000 Medicine Faculty Members Robert Ruff, Brian Olshansky and Luis Ruilope, the blood-thinner dabigatran is shown to protect against stroke, blood clotting and major bleeding as effectively as warfarin, but with fewer side effects.

The original paper, Dabigatran versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation, by Neal Devaraj and Stuart Connolly et al. in the New England Journal of Medicine, says warfarin (also commonly used in rat poison) has several drawbacks. Finding the correct dosage requires careful and laborious monitoring, and the risk of major bleeding has led to it being under-used.

With fewer side-effects and complications than warfarin, the reviewers see many potential benefits from dabigatran. According to Olshansky, it is "perhaps one of the important drug discoveries in the past decade."

Ruilope says that according to the investigators, "This oral anticoagulant prevents strokes and peripheral embolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation significantly better than that much older drug (warfarin) at different doses. It is also safer than warfarin with respect to major bleeding events."

"An immediate change of practice is not warranted but a change in standard anticoagulant therapy may be needed," Ruilope says.

###

Notes to Editors

1 Robert L Ruff, Faculty Member for F1000 Medicine, Neurological Disorders Faculty, is a Professor of Neurology, at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC http://f1000medicine.com/member/1762241638859604

2 Brian Olshansky, Faculty Member for the Cardiovascular Disorders Faculty, is Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Iowa Hospitals http://f1000medicine.com/member/4132171655044848

3 Luis Ruilope, Faculty Member for Cardiovascular Disorders, is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Complutense University, Madrid and Head of the Hypertension Unit at 12 de Octubre Hospital. [http://f1000medicine.com/member/5996598498596054]

4 The full text of this article is available free for 90 days at http://www.f1000medicine.com/article/2q1vd2cfyz5qbtp/id/1163698

5 Please name Faculty of 1000 in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the website.

6 Faculty of 1000 Medicine, http://f1000medicine.com is a unique online service that helps you stay informed of high impact articles and access the opinions of global leaders in medicine. Our distinguished international faculty select and evaluate key articles across medicine, providing a rapidly updated, authoritative guide to the biomedical literature that matters.

7 Please contact Steve Pogonowski, PR Manager, for a complimentary journalist subscription to Faculty of 1000 http://f1000.com

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.