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Pradaxa Related Risks of Heart Attack Subject of Medical Controversy
Pradaxa: New Anticoagulant Drug
Pradaxa, one of the new blood-thinning medications used in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, is the subject of medical controversy about the drug's potential to increase a user's risk of heart attack.
Recently published medical research in the Archives of Internal Medicine and Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Associationreveal differing views on both the increased risk of heart attack associated with the use of Pradaxa and how important any increased risk may be when weighed against the effectiveness of the medication for its indicated uses.
Indicated Use of Pradaxa
Pradaxa, trade name for dabigatran, is used in the prevention of serious blood clot formation and strokes in people who have atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve disease explains PubMed Health, a part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Atrial Fibrillation and Anticoagulants
Contrasting Medical Research Conclusions
Contrasting Research Conclusions
Research that compared myocardial ischemic events (loss of circulation to the heart muscle) in people taking dabigatran versus warfarin, the long-used anticoagulant drug for treatment of atrial fibrillation and published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association concluded that there was an insignificant increase in myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) with the use of Pradaxa instead of warfarin. Other myocardial ischemic events demonstrated no difference between the use of the two medications. This study was written up in July 2011.
A study accepted for publication by the Archives of Internal Medicine November 2011 and reported by Bloomberg.com January 9 reached a same, but different, conclusion to the risk of myocardial ischemic events with the use of dabigatran versus the use of warfarin. In this research report the two study authors, both physicians at the Cleveland Clinic, conclude that dabigatran use increases the risk of myocardial infarction enough that prescribing physicians should take this potential risk into account before prescribing Prodaxa for patients, particularly for patients with an otherwise high risk of a heart attack.
Further Research Necessary?
Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated in December 2011 it will be investigating both of these research studies in addition to reports of severe bleeding events that have occurred with the use of Pradaxa. It remains unknown at this time whether additional studies into the risks of Pradaxa will be completed.
Discuss Drug Safety with Your Health Care Provider
Is Pradaxa Safe for Me?
If you are currently on Pradaxa, do not stop taking it without discussing it with your health care provider. Serious health complications could occur with unauthorized stoppage of this important medication.
Discuss any concerns you may have about taking this drug with your health care provider. He can explain the benefit/risk ratio of various medications for your individual health conditions.
This hub is informational only in nature and is not intended to replace or refute anything told by your health care provider. If you have any questions or concerns about your individual health, contact your health care provider.
Please note, also, that research such as that cited here is an indication of a conclusion. The scientific method requires that a study be replicated and the same conclusion found before it can be accepted as scientific fact.