Monday, January 4, 2010

Dabigatran etexilate a better drug than warfarin for VTE?.

We know that Dabigatran is an anticoagulant from the class of the direct thrombin inhibitors. It is being studied for various clinical indications and may replace warfarin as the preferred anticoagulant in many cases. It is orally administered as the prodrug dabigatran etexilate (marketed as Pradaxa since April 2008 in European countries and Pradax in Canada). It was developed by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.

Now researchers lead by  Dr. Sam Schulman, a professor of medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster University), who conducted a randomized, double-blind trial of 2,539 patients with acute VTE (venous thromboembolism) have found that dabigatran (see structure) is a safe and effective anticoagulant that does not require the routine monitoring or dose adjustments that are necessary with warfarin. In other words, patients can receive the same results in a more convenient manner. 

As per the claim by the researchers, the improvement seen in both groups from the treatments was similar. After six months of treatment, only 2.4 percent of the dabigatran etexilate group (30 patients) and 2.1 percent of the warfarin group (27 patients) experienced recurrent VTE. The safety of the two drugs was also comparable. In the dabigatran etexilate arm, 205 patients experienced bleeding (including 20 patients with major bleeding) versus 277 patients in the warfarin arm (including 24 with major bleeding). Other possible side effects, including death, acute coronary syndromes, and abnormalities in liver function tests, were infrequent in the two groups. Hope patients suffering from VTE will now breathe a sigh of relief....

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