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Effient Sanctioned for Angioplasty Patients

To reduce the risk of blood clots

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

FRIDAY, July 10, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Eli Lilly blood-thinner Effient (prasugrel) to prevent clots in people who have an artery-clearing procedure called angioplasty.

Angioplasty involves inserting a balloon-like device into a clogged artery to open the vessel. The procedure is usually followed by insertion of a stent, a wire mesh tube designed to keep the artery open. But blood platelets tend to gather around the stent, increasing the risk of a clot that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

In a study involving 13,608 people, the percentage of those who had subsequent non-fatal heart attacks was reduced from 9.1 percent among people who took the blood-thinning drug Plavix (clopidogrel) to 7.0 percent among those who took Effient, the FDA said in a news release.

But the agency warned that people taking Effient were at greater risk for serious, and sometimes fatal, bleeding. Labeling for the drug will include a so-called "black-box" warning of this risk, noting that people with an urgent need for surgery or those with a history of a mini-stroke called a transient ischemic attack should not use Effient.

More information

The FDA has more about this drug's approval.


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