Study: Pradaxa Drug Increase Risk of Bleeding
A new study by researchers in Canada suggests that the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa, when combined with other medications, can increase the chance of internal bleeding.
Published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) last month, the study covered 45,991 patients in Ontario, all of whom were 66 or older and took Pradaxa to manage their risk of stroke. Split into different study groups, they were also given various forms of statin, a form of medication found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering a patient’s lipid count.
The patients were taking Pradaxa to address their irregular heartbeat issues, caused by a condition called atrial fibrillation. The problem causes poor blood flow in the sufferer’s body, which Pradaxa helps to alleviate. Statins are then taken as additional protection against the conditions mentioned above. However, some medical professionals are clearly uncertain exactly how the two drugs affect each other. Some speculation
However, some medical professionals are clearly uncertain exactly how the two drugs affect each other. Some postulate that certain statins increase the amount of Pradaxa that the body takes in, which in turn could add to the risk of bleeding.
The results? Patients taking specific types of statin, namely lovastatin or simvastatin, were found to have a risk factor 40% higher than others when it came to incidents of internal bleeding.
Stroke experts in the field cite the findings of the Canadian study as a major concern. Some estimates put the number also taking statins at around half of all patients prescribed Pradaxa.
Although the study only considers older patients and not all statin alternatives were tested, medical professionals will benefit from the potential conflict that it highlights.
The results will help to educate doctors as to the potential dangers of this drug combination and, more importantly, which statins to avoid when Pradaxa is prescribed to combat an irregular heartbeat condition.
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