Combining Common Blood-Thinning Therapies After Coronary Angioplasty May Cause A Deadly Problem
Physicians should examine the risk factors - for example, whether the patient is likely to experience a stroke - before giving patients undergoing interventional heart procedures a combination of anti-blood clotting therapies.
In the study, to be published in the May issue of Pharmacotherapy, Thomas Jefferson University heart researchers reviewed the results of patients who had an interventional heart procedure--such as angioplasty or coronary artery stenting--at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Patients undergoing these procedures usually require various types of blood thinners such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) but some also require warfarin, a potent blood thinner.
The study was designed to assess the safety profile of using all three of these agents, and to identify patient characteristics that increase the risk of hemorrhage in this setting.
The combination of aspirin and clopidogrel (known as dual-antiplatelet therapy) is routinely prescribed to prevent clotting within the stent in patients who have these devices inserted into their coronary arteries.