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No greater risk of bleeding seen in use of new anti-clotting drugs

New anti-clotting drugs do not present a greater risk of major bleeding than existing ones, a Canadian study suggests.

New anti-clotting drugs do not present a greater risk of major bleeding than existing ones, a Canadian study suggests

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Capsules of anticoagulant drug Dabigatran, sold under the name Pradaxa.
Picture: Science Photo Library

New anti-clotting drugs do not present a greater risk of major bleeding than existing ones, a study suggests.

Canadian scientists examined the cases of 59,525 patients in Canada and the US diagnosed with venous thromboembolism (VTE) between January 2009 and March 2016.

Of these, 12,489 were treated with newer direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) while the remaining 47,036 received prescriptions for warfarin – the leading anti-clotting drug for many years.

Observational

Participants were followed up for an average of 85 days, during which hospital admissions, emergency department visits for major bleeding and death from all causes were recorded.

The findings showed 1,967 or 3.3% had a major bleed and 1,029 or 1.7% died, with no difference noted between those given DOACs and those on warfarin.

Writing in the BMJ, the authors caution that an observational study cannot draw firm conclusions and recommend further studies.


Lix L et al (2017) Comparative safety of direct oral anticoagulants and warfarin in venous thromboembolism: multicentre, population based, observational study. BMJ. doi: https:// doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4323

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