The European Society of Cardiology held its annual big meeting recently, and the major news revolved around some new blood thinning medication coming to the market.
The two major blood thinners available now are Plavix, manufactured by Bristol-Myers and the second best selling drug in the world, and Coumadin, also known as Warfarin, which has been available for at least fifty years and is considered the “Gold Standard”. If you need to take a blood thinner, odds are you are on one of these two pills.
The new drug Pradaxa was compared to Warfarin and the results were roughly equal, with Pradaxa being slightly better. One advantage to Pradaxa is that the dosage is based on weight, not monthly blood tests, and there are fewer interactions with other foods and drugs. Not getting those pokes would be great!
Brilinta, another new anticoagulant, was tested gainst Plavix and found to be better at reducing heart attacks, strokes, and death. The study also found there were less bleeding problems with Brilinta.
A third drug, Dabigatran, was tested against Cumadin. In that study, Dabigatran seems to outperform Cumadin at higher doses and be roughly equal in lower doses.
All of these drugs are still in the testing phase – so it may be a while (quite a while!) before your doctor offers them to you for your anticoagulation needs.