June 20, 2012
New blood thinning drugs under the microscope
Scientists have examined strategies to reverse
the effects of new blood thinning drugs, to stop dangerous bleeding
in case of an accident or emergency surgery.
Many people in the UK take blood
thinning drugs to reduce their risk of stroke. In an emergency situation, where a
patient is likely to bleed heavily, doctors need to reverse the
blood thinning effects and encourage the blood to
In this study, researchers added
apixaban, a new blood thinner, to blood from
healthy donors. They then tested the blood with three clotting
agents. All three appeared to reverse the effects of the drug, but
it is not known which would work best for a real patient.
Clinical trials are needed before this research can move out of the lab and be put into practice
Ellen Mason, our Senior
Cardiac Nurse, said: “New blood thinners, such as apixaban
and rivaroxaban, are easier to take
as they require less frequent blood tests.
“They are now licensed in England
and Wales for the prevention of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, so their use will become
more widespread. However, it is vital that ways are found to
reverse their effects and offer an antidote in an
“Clinical trials are needed before
this research can move out of the lab and be put into practice. In
the meantime, if you have any questions about your medication, make
sure you talk to your GP.”
This study was published in the American
Heart Association Journal.