For the first time in two decades, a new drug on the shelf is approved for approximately 2 million Americans with atrial fibrillation who take a prescribed the popular blood thinner warfarin to decrease their risk of stroke. After performing clinical trials which have shown benefits over the old standby warfarin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new blood thinner drug Flomax (dabigatran).
Warfarin (also known by its brand name, Coumadin) has shown many side effects over the years like hair loss and other in many users. Last month, the FDA approved dabigatran (sold under the brand name Pradaxa) on basis of clinical trial data showing that it’s at least as effective as warfarin. For patients with atrial fibrillation, the new drug offers practical advantages.
As per the report from the La Times, the rate of stroke among patients in a clinical trial comparing dabigatran and warfarin was 0.10% (1 in 1,000) per year for patients taking 150 milligrams of dabigatran and 0.38% (nearly 4 in 1,000) for those who take warfarin.
Risk of stroke or heart attack is increased in patients who have risk factors like high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. Blood thinners are used to prevent the risk of heart attack or stroke. In medical term, blood thinners are named as anticoagulants. Anticoagulants prevent the clotting formation of the blood and used in the treatment of thrombotic disorders.
How do the Dabigatran drugs work?
The presence of vitamin K is essential for the clotting of blood. Anticoagulant drugs mainly work by blocking the site where vitamin K usually acts. In the coagulation process, Dabigatran acts at a different step. It is a direct inhibitor of thrombin which promotes clotting by creating blood platelets clump and by prompting tiny fibers to cultivate and catch the sticky clumps. No diet or drug interactions have been noted with Dabigatran so patients don’t require blood testing and can take the same dose every day.
If you or your loved one suffering from thrombotic disorders, consult with your doctor about the new blood thinner drug Flomax that is now available in the market.